The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has subpoenaed FBI agent Peter Strzok to appear at a public hearing July 10.
Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte issued the subpoena to force Strzok to appear before both the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees.
The hearing will focus on Strzok’s work on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.
Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, said on Monday that his client had retracted a previous offer to testify publicly.
Goelman cited a closed-door interview on June 27 with the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees as evidence that Republicans were setting “a trap” for the embattled FBI agent.
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“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the committee would now like to drag back Special Agent Strzok and have him testify in public — a request that we originally made and the committee denied,” Goelman said in a letter first reported by CNN.
“What’s being asked of Special Agent Strzok is to participate in what anyone can recognize as a trap.”
Goelman also cited Strzok’s military service and length of time in the FBI in an apparent attempt to drump up public sympathy.
“He might even be willing to testify publicly before this committee,” Goelman wrote, according to The Hill.
“But not under conditions that are so obviously designed to embarrass and trap an honorable man who has spent 25 years serving his country in the military and in law enforcement.”
As the deputy chief of counterintelligence, Strzok was the FBI’s lead investigator on the Russia probe when it was opened on July 31, 2016.
He joined the special counsel’s investigation shortly after it started in May 2017 but was removed from the investigation in July 2017 after the discovery of a slew of anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with Lisa Page, a former FBI attorney.
Strzok, who was recently stripped of his security clearance, sent biased messages ranging from negative commentary about Trump and Trump supporters to more cryptic references to the Russia investigation.
In one Aug. 8, 2016, message, Strzok wrote to Page that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president. Strzok also referred to Trump as an “idiot.”
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Strzok testified to the Judiciary and Oversight Committees on June 27 behind closed doors.
Goodlatte said after Strzok’s 10-plus hours of testimony that the embattled agent refused to answer numerous questions on the advice of FBI lawyers who attended the interview.
Goelman and House Democrats have called for the release of a transcript of that deposition.