The Latest: FBI agent in Clinton, Russia probes testifies
WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on testimony to Congress by a former FBI agent involved in the Clinton email and Russia probes (all times local):
10:50 a.m. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte is defending the Republican-led House investigation into the Justice Department as the committee opens a hearing to question former FBI agent Peter Strzok (struhk) . He says the investigation “goes to the very heart of our system of justice, one that is supposed to be fair and treat everyone equally under the law.” The committee is questioning Strzok because he traded texts criticizing President Donald Trump with an FBI lawyer. Both worked on the FBI investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails and later special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Democrats have said the investigation is an attempt to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. As the hearing began, Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings had staffers hold up large signs of people who have pleaded guilty in Mueller’s probe.
4:02 a.m. An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages fueled suspicions of partisan bias will tell lawmakers that his work has never been tainted by politics and that the scrutiny he’s facing represents “just another victory notch in Putin’s belt.” That’s according to prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press. Peter Strzok (struhk) helped lead FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton’s email use and potential coordination between Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign. He is testifying publicly Thursday for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team following the discovery of the text messages. He will say that he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work and that he knew information during the campaign that could have damaged Trump but never contemplated leaking it.