Former U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy said Wednesday on Fox News that he thinks U.S. Attorney John Durham may now be focusing on former FBI agent Peter Strzok as he continues a probe into surveillance and investigatory abuses relating to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and transition.
Gowdy referred to comments recently made by Attorney General Bill Barr that “some” names currently being scrutinized by Durham would be familiar to many Americans, saying he thought Barr was referencing Strzok, perhaps among others.
“Keep in mind. Peter Strzok, that I think is now a household name, has his fingerprints on every aspect of this,” Gowdy said, according to Fox.
Strzok deeply involved
The Washington Examiner reported that the former prosecutor pointed out that Strzok was responsible for the initial surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the summer of 2016.
He was, as Gowdy noted, also involved in the Hillary Clinton email server investigation as well as the FBI’s controversial decision to interview then-Trump administration National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The former lawmaker also emphasized that, according to a document declassified in April by then-acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell, Strzok stopped the FBI from closing its probe of Flynn in early 2017 even though no derogatory information was found that would have justified its continuation.
Barr said Tuesday that he was “very troubled” by some of Durham’s findings, according to Fox News.
Anti-Trump texts between Strzok and his then-paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, were uncovered, revealing that the two wanted to undermine Trump before the election and after. Strzok was fired following the release of the messages, and he has since filed suit claiming unlawful termination.
Demanding good stewardship
“When you give power to someone, it is not legitimate to say, ‘Were you a good steward of those powers?'” the former chair of the House Oversight Committee inquired.
He went on: “All [Barr] is asking in return is that you be a good steward and there be a factual predicate when you investigate, whether it’s a potential president, or your neighbor next door.”
However, according to the Washington Examiner, Gowdy speculated in May about whether Durham’s investigation would yield any criminal indictments, indicating he was doubtful it would happen, saying, “I don’t think it — I think being a terrible FBI agent and treating people unfairly, maybe it ought to be a crime, but I don’t think it is a crime.”
Still, late last month, former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr disagreed with that position, according to Fox, saying, “Based on what I know, which is obviously less than John Durham will know and probably does know right now, there will probably be indictments,” perhaps reaching into the “fairly senior leadership [level]” at the FBI.