Hillary Clinton was not a target, witness, subject or suspect during the investigation into her storage and sending of classified emails on her home server, fired FBI Agent Peter Strzok told Congress last year, according to transcripts released Thursday.
“She was not considered a target by the Justice Department,” Mr. Strzok told the House Judiciary Committee, saying that while investigators saw her as a “critical player,” she was “not by any means the only person that we had an investigative interest in.”
Rep. Doug Collins, Georgia Republican, inserted the transcripts into the Congressional Record during a floor speech, defying a Justice Department that he felt was moving too slowly to clear the information for public consumption.
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. He was later fired from the FBI itself.
In his Interview with the House Judiciary Committee last year Mr. Strzok admitted he had his affair with Ms. Page, an FBI lawyer, even though he knew, as a top counterintelligence officer it made him vulnerable to being blackmailed by America’s enemies — and even knew of one instance where someone was recruited through that exact means.
The Strzok transcript is the third set Mr. Collins has released, following ones from Justice Department official Bruce Ohr and Ms. Page herself.
The Strzok transcript shows some surprising disconnects between the two lovers.
In describing one text she sent to Mr. Strzok in which she told him he was fated to be investigating Mr. Trump to save the country from a “menace,” she told the Judiciary Committee the menace was Mr. Trump himself.
Mr. Strzok, though, says he thought the menace she referred to was Russia.
Mr. Strzok also disputed the meaning of the now-infamous text exchange where Ms. Page worried Mr. Trump would become president and he replied “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
In the June 27, 2018, closed-door appearance with the Judiciary Committee he said he didn’t mean that he would stop Mr. Trump.
He said he didn’t recall specifically writing it, but says he now thinks the “we” he was talking about was the country at large.
“My answer ‘No’ was my personal belief that I did not think he would be,” the fired agent said, adding later, “My best sense looking at this text that I didn’t recall until I read it very recently, was that ‘we’ is my belief that the American people, there is no way that they’re going to elect him.
“What it is not is any statement that I would ever consider, let alone take any official action, to impact the presidency of the United States,” he said.
Mr. Strzok also defended his texts in March 2016, before Mrs. Clinton had defeated Sen. Bernard Sanders to win the Democratic nomination and before Mr. Trump had the GOP nomination, where he said she “should” win the White House 100 million to zero.
The former agent said that confidence in her did not color his investigative efforts.