Peter Strzok: Hillary Clinton was 'not considered a target' in email investigation

Sergio Conner
March 15, 2019

Strzok said he disagreed that a candidate's electability should be part of the equation.

Mr. Strzok was for a time the lead agent in an investigation into President Trump in the early stages during the 2016 campaign, and would go on to work for special counsel Robert Mueller before being ousted from that team after anti-Trump text screeds to affair partner Lisa Page were uncovered.

In a statement Thursday, Strzok attorney Aitan Goelman said his client welcomed the release of the transcript. "So let me if I can, I know I'm testing your memory".

"It is further evidence that, contrary to the impression that the President's allies in Congress tried to create with their selective and often inaccurate leaks, Pete at all times discharged his duties honorably, patriotically, and without regard to his personal political opinions", Goelman said. "And, we're going to say, we're going to get this out and we're going to put it in ways that people can easily understand, not a large dump, we're going to take it methodically as we go, as we get them cleared, and we're going to get them out to the American people".

Page provided a similar explanation during her own closed-door interview, saying how she had urged caution in the investigation because if Trump didn't win, there was less of a national security concern. "And equally, if they aren't guilty of anything, that's also important", Strzok said.

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(Washington Examiner) Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., called for increased attention to what former Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney Lisa Page told congressional investigators previous year about an "insurance policy" against President Trump.

Strzok also noted he was not sure how often the FBI briefed retired personnel about closed cases - as they did in the Clinton email investigation in late October 2016.

The Strzok transcript is the third set Mr. Collins has released, following ones from Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and Ms. Page herself.

The transcript shows Strzok was asked about decisions made during the Clinton probe, including then-FBI Director James B. Comey's efforts to draft a memo explaining his rationale for not prosecuting Clinton in advance of interviewing her. Strzok said he was aware of no similar effort to draft a memo explaining a potential decision to charge Clinton ahead of her interview.

In her testimony, Page also explained that she considered the possibility of the Trump campaign colluding with Russian Federation to be a much bigger deal than Clinton's mishandling of top-secret government information while she was secretary of state. In media appearances following the tarmac meeting, Lynch - without disclosing her involvement in the case and seemingly already knowing the outcome of the investigation - said that she would "accept the recommendations" of the FBI.

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