Ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was referenced in Special Counsel John Durham’s report Monday, argued that it exhibited “bias” and “never should have” been made.
After four years of research, Durham’s 316-page report found that the FBI investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign for Russia collusion had a “lack of analytical rigor, apparent confirmation bias, and an over-willingness to rely on information from individuals connected to political opponents.”
Despite this, Strzok insisted on MSNBC’s “The ReidOut” that Durham’s investigation “didn’t come up with anything” and “never should have taken place.”
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“But look, this is a predictable sad ending to an investigation that never should have taken place. Shortly after [Durham] was announced in 2019, he went on the record as a prosecutor making a rare public statement that he disagreed with IG Horowitz’s conclusion that the investigation was appropriately launched and then he spent the next three to four years with a cognitive bias trying to build a case that somehow it was. We saw the results today, and the results are clearly that he didn’t come up with anything,” Strzok said.
Although Strzok accused Durham of being influenced by bias, Strzok himself was previously fired from the FBI after perceived bias against Trump during the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation. In 2018, multiple anti-Trump texts from Strzok were discovered from 2016. One of the texts showed Strzok asserting to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page that “we won’t allow” Trump to become president.
Host Joy Reid noted that Durham referenced Strzok in his report, which said, “Our investigation gathered evidence that showed a number of those closest to the investigation believed that the standard arguably had not been met, even Strzok, who drafted and approved the opening EC, said there’s nothing to this but we have to run it to ground. His view would seem to dictate the opening of the matter or at the most a preliminary investigation.”
Strzok insisted that the Russia investigation was taken seriously and that the case was not “acted with bias.”
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“First and foremost, the initial allegation was extraordinarily serious. It was potentially a threat to the national security of the United States, and it absolutely merited opening a full investigation. And the IG found it was proper and in accordance with DOJ and FBI regulations and finally after years of independent investigation, found that there was no testimonial or documentary evidence that anybody acted with bias or inappropriately,” Strzok said.
He continued, “So this was worth opening. I agreed with opening it. I wrote the opening EC. It absolutely should have been opened and the proof of that, again, is look at all those people who were found guilty in the course of special counsel Mueller’s investigation.”
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Elsewhere in the report, Durham wrote, “FBI records prepared by [Peter] Strzok in February and March 2017 show that at the time of the opening of Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI had no information in its holdings indicating that at any time during the campaign anyone in the Trump campaign had been in contact with any Russian intelligence officials.”