Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said Wednesday he still isn’t convinced there was no bias after hearing from FBI agent Peter Strzok during a closed-door hearing.
“None of my concerns about political bias have been alleviated based on what I heard so far,” Meadows told reporters outside the hearing room. “But at the same time, the day is young. We have a number of hours to continue on with this investigation.”
Strzok has been a central figure in the debate over FBI bias for his involvement in two major investigations and for sending controversial text messages about Donald Trump before he became president. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) was able to get him to speak during a hearing with a subpoena June 22.
Meadows is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which sat in on the hearing alongside members of the House Intelligence Committee. He noted the hearing still has a few more hours to go but has not been convinced by what Strzok had said up to then.
“I read the text messages, I read emails, and I’ve read other information that would seem to convince a reasonable person that the total absence of bias in the decision-making process is not consistent with the facts,” Meadows said.
Strzok managed the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official business while she secretary of state. Strzok was also tapped by special counsel Robert Mueller when he was appointed in May 2017 to probe allegations that members of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian interests.
Mueller removed Strzok in July 2017 after many of Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages and emails became public.
Strzok said in a text message, cited in the recent report by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, that “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” when asked by his lover, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whether Trump could become president.
This followed earlier text messages between the two, in which Strzok referred to an “insurance policy” in case Trump defeated Clinton.