House Republicans held a hearing to push Donald Trump’s deep state FBI bias discrediting of the Russia investigation, but the Peter Strzok hearing has totally backfired.
First, Strzok dismantled Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Trump’s deep state conspiracy theory of the Russia investigation.
Later, Democrats turned the tables, as Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) asked Strzok a series of yes or no question.
Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee: Did anything you did or say in 2016 change the fact that Trump campaign associate Carter page was under counterintelligence surveillance going back to 2013? Yes or no, sir?
Peter Strzok: No.
Jackson Lee: Did anything you did or say in 2016 change the fact that in March 2016 the president met with George Papadopoulos who would later plead guilty for lying to the FBI?
Jackson Lee: Did anything you did or say in 2016 change the fact that Donald Trump Jr. Met with agents of the Russian government in trump tower in 2016?
Jackson Lee: Did anything you did or say in 2016 change the fact that the president asked Russians to hack into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails?
Jackson Lee: Did anything you did or say in 2016 change the fact that Paul manafort, who has proven — who has pleaded guilty, in fact, that in July 2016, Paul manafort changed the GOP party platform at the 2016 GOP convention in order to benefit Russia or change the platform?
Strzok: Ma’am, without saying whether or not that’s accurate, no.
Jackson Lee: Did anything you did or say in 2016 change the fact that in May 2016 George Papadopoulos was drunk in a London bar, bragging about how Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton?
Strzok: Again, ma’am, without confirming whether or not that’s cross, no.
Jackson Lee: Did anything you do or say in 2016 change the fact when Donald Trump was presented with dirt on Hillary Clinton, he responded, I love it?
Peter Strzok: Again, ma’am, only commenting on public accounts of that, no.
Jackson Lee: Did anything in the IG report change the fact that Donald Trump Jr. Was communicating with Wikileaks, Julian Assange, about the timing of releasing e-mails designed to harm Hillary Clinton? Anything you do?
Strzok: Anything I did, no.
Jackson Lee: Did — you’re well aware that Mr. Flynn has pleaded guilty, is that not correct?
Strzok: That’s correct.
Jackson Lee: You’re well aware he was the national security adviser for the President of the United States?
Peter Strzok: That’s correct.
Jackson Lee: Well, in his offense statement that we have right here, Mr. Flynn, indicated that his amendment — I’m association his statements, false statements omission, caused the impeding of the Russia investigation. More importantly, important to take note of the fact that he provided information to the Russian ambassador that said here, calm down, don’t bother to get upset about sanctions. And according to a whistleblower, he said the sanctions would be, quote, ripped up to allow money to start flowing to one of Flynn’s business projects. You had no interference with that, did you not?
Strzok: I did not.
Democrats have used the hearing to make the case for Trump’s criminal activity
House Republicans held this hearing to discredit Mueller’s investigation, but Democrats came more than prepared and have used the platform to make the case for Trump’s potentially criminal behavior. As Rep. Jackson Lee’s questioning revealed Strzok and his texts are a red herring that do not change the facts of the Russia investigation. The hearing has been a disappointing disaster for Republicans and Trump.
Instead of getting Trump off the hook, the hearing has made a case for more investigation and potential impeachment of the president.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association