Embattled FBI official Peter Strzok was “smug” and “laughed off” questions during his closed-door congressional interview this week, though also told lawmakers he regrets sending the anti-Trump texts that made him the poster child for bureau bias, congressional sources tell Fox News.
Peter #Strzok will be interviewed first in a closed door deposition. There will be classified information to sort through before a public hearing is held. A public hearing will be held! @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/Glltm1pBkn
— House Judiciary ⚖ (@HouseJudiciary) June 26, 2018
Fox News reports,
Strzok spoke behind closed doors before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, in his first congressional appearance following revelations of numerous anti-Trump messages he exchanged with bureau colleague Lisa Page during the 2016 campaign.
“Strzok was smug, defiant, and laughed off a lot of questions,” one congressional source told Fox News following the interview. The source also echoed earlier reports that Strzok refused to answer some questions on the advice of counsel.
Another congressional source, though, told Fox News that Strzok “said he regretted sending the texts.”
The latter revelation may come as no surprise. The discovery of those texts got him booted from the special counsel Russia probe. A recent inspector general report chastised him and other officials for anti-Trump messages. And last week, Strzok was escorted from his FBI office and lost his security clearance.
But Strzok is fighting back. And after President Trump tweeted complaints that the FBI official “refused to answer many questions,” his attorney Aitan Goelman countered that his client “abided by his legal responsibility to follow the instructions of the FBI counsel, who sought to avoid the disclosure of information related to the Russia investigation.”
Lover FBI Agent Peter Strzok was given poor marks on yesterday’s closed door testimony and, according to most reports, refused to answer many questions. There was no Collusion and the Witch Hunt, headed by 13 Angry Democrats and others who are totally conflicted, is Rigged!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2018
“It should come as no surprise that President Trump, who appears desperate to undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation, is again viciously attacking Pete for playing by the rules,” Goelman said in a statement, noting that Strzok “wants full transparency around the examination of his work.”
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