Strzok: Extramarital affair did not make me vulnerable to blackmail

Strzok: Extramarital affair did not make me vulnerable to blackmail

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FBI agent Peter Strzok testifies before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees, (Photo ©2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

WASHINGTON – Former FBI agent Peter Strzok did not believe his affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page could have made him vulnerable to blackmail by foreign operatives, according to recently released transcripts of his closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee.

“I can tell you that in no way would that extramarital affair have any power in coercing me to do anything other than obeying the law and doing honest, competent investigation,” Strzok said.

Strzok made the assertion in response to a question from the committee’s Republican investigative counsel, Art Baker.

Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-Ga.) released the transcripts on Thursday. Collins had released transcripts of the committee’s closed-door interview with Page earlier this week. Both interviews took place last summer.

Page and Strzok exchanged text messages in 2016 in which he said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a Department of Justice inspector general report that was released last June.

“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Strzok on Aug. 8, 2016.

“No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.

The agents were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team in 2017 after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok was a lead investigator in the Clinton email probe.

However, the transcripts released on Thursday show that Strzok told the committee Mueller never asked him if the sentiment reflected in that text had any influence on decisions made during the Trump-Russia probe.

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