Among the highlights of disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok’s testimony Thursday was his dismissal of DOJ reports concerning the threat of blackmail over his affair with bureau lawyer Lisa Page. In response to questioning from Rep. Karen Handel, Strzok deflected, “I never, never could have been blackmailed or coerced by the nature of that relationship. The nature of my patriotism and the nature of what I believe in this country, you could not, nobody could have made that.” After everyone’s eyes finished rolling, the Google searches for ‘Benedict Arnold’ skyrocketed. Somehow attempting to derail the campaign for president of a Republican nominee now apparently qualifies as ‘patriotism’.
Here’s more from Breitbart…
Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok testified before House Judiciary and House Oversight Committee members Thursday and contradicted reports that Justice Department officials expressed concerns of blackmail over his extramarital affair with bureau lawyer Lisa Page.
A partial transcript follows:
REP. KAREN HANDEL (R-GA): I have found your testimony today, frankly, to be quite remarkable in its disingenuousness, and you have shown a disturbing degree of denialism about your actions and the impact of those actions. I think we would all agree that everyone does have personal viewpoints. That is very true, but against Strzok, there is a very big difference between someone expressing his or her political views generally and someone leading an FBI investigation making highly negative and explosive comments about the actual target of that investigation. Would you agree? That’s a yes or no.
FBI AGENT PETER STRZOK: Can you rephrase the question? I don’t understand.
REP. HANDEL: You have a really awesome talent for filibustering. Think about running for the Senate. I’ll just say again, you are the lead investigator, and you made highly negative, explosive comments about the actual target of an investigation. That is distinctly different from an individual expressing his or her political views.
What I also find stunning is that someone in your role and responsibilities that you’ve had engaged in such grossly unprofessional, unacceptable, and unethical behavior. Now, truly ironic – did I hear you say earlier you’re in a senior position at the HR division for the FBI?
STRZOK: Yes, ma’am.
REP. HANDEL: That’s very ironic. So let me ask you this. You were in a supervisory role within the FBI; suppose you found out that one of your direct reports was sending the kind of text messages that you were sending about the target of an investigation that they were working. What action would you take?
STRZOK: Ma’am, if they were sending personal opinion about a political matter, that’s their business. I think given my experience to date, I would caution them against doing that on a government device.