He testified in a closed session before the House Oversight and Judiciary committees on Wednesday.
The president and his supporters argue that Strzok’s early involvement in the Russia probe taints the entire investigation. On Thursday Trump tweeted that Strzok “was given poor marks on yesterday’s closed-door testimony” and that Strzok’s role in the Russia investigation was further evidence of the “witch hunt” against him. But although the president himself had called for Strzok’s testimony to be public, Congress did not agree.
Strzok certainly doesn’t act like someone with anything to hide. He offered to testify publicly and without a subpoena. He didn’t take the Fifth or demand immunity. Unlike the president in his dealings with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Strzok did not haggle for months over the terms or scope of an interview.
.. based on a few dozen text messages out of more than 40,000 that he and Page exchanged on FBI devices.
.. “We’ll stop it” text message? Most have assumed that “we” means the FBI. But it’s at least as likely that Strzok, in a personal message to his girlfriend, was referring to we the voters, or we the American people. That would have been an unremarkable sentiment shared by about half the people in the country
.. It’s quite a leap to go from that text message to a claim that Strzok tried to use his official powers to tip the election.
And there’s no evidence that he did.
.. Maybe Strzok really was part of a “deep state” conspiracy to take down Trump — even though everything the FBI did during the email investigation actually ended up hurting his opponent.
.. Maybe that same conspiracy now infects Mueller’s probe. If that’s the fear, what’s the argument for keeping Strzok’s testimony secret?
.. These congressmen who claim to be interested in transparency and full disclosure should be eager to make Strzok’s testimony public — particularly since the president claims that testimony will provide evidence of the “witch hunt” against him. So what are these Republicans hiding?
.. Strzok’s text messaging habits, however imprudent, have nothing to do with the merits of the Mueller investigation. Keeping his testimony secret leads only to selective leaks, spin and speculation.