Disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok said that he knew ‘things’ that could harm President Trump’s reelection campaign – but is choosing not to go public with the information.
The former deputy assistant director made the declaration as he explained to CBSN that his own personal bias had no implications in how he handled the investigation into Trump when he was the Republican nominee.
The comments come as his new book, Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump, hit the stands on Tuesday – tracing his arc from veteran counterintelligence agent to the man who came to embody Trump’s public scorn of FBI and his characterization of its Russia investigation as a ‘witch hunt.’
‘To this day, there are things that I know, that others know, that aren’t public at all… appropriately not known to the public, that nevertheless would harm the Trump campaign in the 2020… right now… if we released it..Yet none of us did that because that is our duty. That is the oath we swore to uphold,’ he said.
Peter Strzok said that he and others knew ‘things’ that if made public, could ruin President Trump’s election campaign
Strzok’s time investigating as a part of Robert Mueller’s team was cut short in 2017 after an inspector general discovered anti-Trump text messages he’d exchanged during the campaign with an FBI lawyer with whom he had had an extramarital relationship. The texts cost Strzok his job and drew vitriol from Trump.
But even with those, Strzok asserted that he was still able to focus on his job and not act with ‘nefarious’ intent.
Strzok said: ‘The fact that throughout 2016… I and others knew and had information that would absolutely be devastating to Trump’s campaign if it became public and yet it never came out.’
‘To this day, there are things that I know, that others know, that aren’t public at all…that nevertheless would harm the Trump campaign in the 2020,’ he said
‘Any one of us could have gone to the press, could have gone to Congress and provided information that could have destroyed his candidacy. That never happened.’
He later added: ‘What I can tell you is every agent in the FBI has a political opinion, but each and every day what I saw in myself and others over the course of 20 years was that when people walk in the doors, they set that aside,’ Strzok said. ‘They walk in, they do their job and pursue the truth objectively.’
Strzok also expressed uneasiness at Attorney General WIlliam Barr’s willingness to ‘improperly’ act on behalf of the president.
The former deputy assistant director was fired in the summer of 2017 after it was revealed he was sending anti-Trump text to an FBI lawyer Lisa Page
‘I’m concerned,’ Strzok told CBSN’s Vladimir Duthiers. ‘The things that I have heard the attorney general say, some of the actions of the Department of Justice — unfolding or rolling back the prosecution of General [Michael] Flynn, the sentencing of Roger Stone — give me great concern.’
He added that the DOJ’s actions in recent months ‘smack of political partisanship.’
Strzok assertion comes on the release of his new book, Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump
Strzok’s anti-Trump texts on a government phone to an FBI lawyer gave Trump and his supporters a major opening to undercut the bureau’s credibility right as it was conducting one of the most consequential investigations in its history.
Trump’s attacks have continued even as two inspector general reports found no evidence Strzok’s work in the investigations were tainted by political bias and multiple probes have affirmed the Russia probe’s validity.
Strzok expresses measured regret for the texts in ‘Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump,’ out now.
‘I deeply regret casually commenting about the things I observed in the headlines and behind the scenes, and I regret how effectively my words were weaponized to harm the Bureau and buttress absurd conspiracy theories about our vital work,’ Strzok writes.
Before becoming a virtual household name, Strzok spent two decades at the FBI toiling in relative anonymity on sensational spy cases. He helped uncover Russian sleeper agents inside the U.S., worked the Edward Snowden case and led the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information. (She did, he writes, but not in a way meriting prosecution).
After the Clinton case concluded in July 2016, Strzok opened an investigation into whether the campaign of her Republican opponent was coordinating with Russia, conceiving the ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ codename he says proved prescient.
Strzok said he intended for his book to lend insight into the Clinton probe, Russian election interference and, ‘first and foremost, the counterintelligence threat that I see in Donald Trump.’