A former congressman thinks he knows the identity of least one of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s targets in his and Attorney General Bill Barr’s probe of the Trump–Russia collusion investigation.
The Washington Examiner reports that former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) believes that Durham is likely focusing on disgraced and dismissed FBI agent Peter Strzok, 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.
The former lawmaker’s statement came during an interview on Fox News last week.
Gowdy’s remarks followed a separate interview that Fox News conducted with Barr in which the attorney general stated that although Durham isn’t looking into people at the “level” of former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden, he is looking into “some” people who have names with which the public would surely be familiar.
This is what Gowdy likely meant when he pointed out that Strzok is a household name. Indeed, Strzok is a name known by millions of Americans because — as Gowdy mentioned — while working as an FBI official, he was involved in a number of investigatory actions related to Trump that have since come under intense scrutiny.
“From initiating [the Russia probe] in the summer of 2016 to the Hillary Clinton investigation to [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller to interviewing Michael Flynn,” Gowdy said as he detailed Strzok’s deep involvement, according to the Examiner. “So, Peter Strzok would be a name that I would listen for as Durham begins to wind up his work.”
Strzok’s many roles
Strzok first became a household name back during Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump–Russia collusion investigation when text messages between Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was reportedly having an affair, were made public.
What these text messages showed, at the very least, was that the government officials investigating Donald Trump had a strong bias against him, and, at most, they suggested that there was some kind of plan being put into action to prevent Trump’s election or achieve his ouster once he took office. For this, Strzok was fired, according to Forbes, although he has since contested his dismissal in a wrongful termination lawsuit.
It has been also been discovered that Strzok was a major player in the investigation of retired Gen. Michael Flynn. Strzok urged the FBI to continue its investigation of Flynn even though the agency couldn’t find any wrongdoing, a decision which ultimately led to the controversial 2017 interview in which Flynn made statements for which he was prosecuted, pleaded guilty, and subsequently attempted to withdraw his plea.
Besides the Russia investigation, Strzok also had a substantial role in the questionable investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official, often highly sensitive government business, a probe which ultimately ended with no charges being sought against the former secretary of State.
When all of these things are taken together, it certainly appears that Gowdy has good cause to suggest that Strzok really is in Durham’s crosshairs.