FBI agent Peter Strzok‘s lawyer on Monday accused Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee of twisting his closed-door testimony for “political games.”
Aidan Goelman, who represents Mr. Strozk, sent a letter accusing Republicans of forcing his client to testify privately and then selectively leaking the testimony to suit their needs.
Mr. Goelman said Mr. Strzok may not accept an invitation for public testimony next week before the committee, alleging Republican lawmakers are using it to set a “trap” for the anti-Trump FBI agent. He also demanded the whole transcript from Mr. Strzok‘s closed testimony be released, but its unclear if that is a condition for the agent to participate in the public hearing.
“Having sharpened their knives behind closed doors, the committee would now like to drag back Special Agent Strzok and have him testify in public — a request that we originally made and the committee denied,” Goelman wrote. “What’s being asked of Special Agent Strzok is to participate in what anyone can recognize as a trap.”
“Given that the committee is playing political games, violating our trust and its own rules, it no longer makes sense for us to keep playing along,” he wrote. “[Strzok] is willing to testify again, and he is willing to testify publicly. … He might even be willing to testify publicly before this committee. But not under conditions that are so obviously designed to embarrass and a trap an honorable man who has spent 25 years serving his country in the military and in law enforcement.”
Mr. Strzok was a key figure in the Hillary Clinton email investigation and, briefly, a member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team probing Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
He was later removed from the Russia investigation after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz showed Mr. Mueller text messages disparaging President Trump the G-man sent to FBI attorney Lisa Page, who was also his mistress.
Lawmakers grilled the Mr. Strzok for 11 hours last week over whether his animosity towards Mr. Trump influenced his role on either investigation. Mr. Goleman alleges Republicans “rushed to mischaracterize” Mr. Strzok‘s testimony, calling him a liar and telling reporters reported he refused to answer many questions on the advice of counsel.
Mr. Goelamn said it is possible that Mr. Strzok could testify before a different committee. Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat, had invited him to appear before the House Intelligence Committee.
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