Rep. Jim Jordan on Thursday pushed FBI Director Christopher Wray to explain possible links between Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who was removed from the Russia probe after revealing his anti-Trump sentiments, and the FBI's push to surveil members of the Trump transition team.
Jordan, R-Ohio, said he wants a special counsel to investigate how a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant was obtained to surveil members of President Trump's campaign team. And at a Thursday hearing at the House Judiciary Committee, Jordan asked FBI Director Christopher Wray to say whether the partisan Strzok used a disputed dossier on Trump, paid for by Democrats, to justify the FISA warrant.
“There’s got to be something more here. It can’t just be text messages that show a pro-Clinton anti-Trump bias,” Jordan said in the hearing, discussing the FBI's decision to demote Strzok. “My hunch is it has something to do with the dossier.”
“Did Peter Strzok help produce and present the application to the FISA court to secure a warrant to spy on Americans associated with the Trump campaign?” Jordan asked.
“I’m not prepared to discuss what happened in the court,” Wray said.
Strzok was a top counterintelligence official at the FBI before joining Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe this summer. While at the FBI, he worked on the investigation into the Hillary Clinton email server. It was revealed Strzok was pulled from Mueller’s team and demoted at the FBI after he sent pro-Clinton anti-Trump text messages to his mistress.
While Wray refused to answer, Jordan kept pushing, and asked if Strzok played any role in getting the FISA warrant.
“I’m not going to discuss in this setting anything to do with the FISA court,” Wray said.
“Let’s remember a couple of things about the dossier,” Jordan replied. “The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it’s been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document — that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans."
Republicans in the Senate have resumed their push for more information about Strzok. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley this week asked for all communications related to Strzok, who was reportedly the official who pushed to downplay a final report on Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server in a way that helped her avoid criminal charges.