Grassley Probing FBI ‘Political Bias’ In Flynn Investigation

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa,  makes a statement during the second day of a confirmation hearing for Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
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Less than a week after former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn entered a plea deal admitting that he lied to FBI agents, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) indicated he was opening a probe into the “reported bias” of an agent said to be involved in Flynn’s questioning, as well as in the FBI’s Clinton email investigation.

Grassley sent a letter dated Tuesday t0 FBI Director Chris Wray seeking communications and records related to the agent, Peter Strzok. His request comes as a handful of Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, where Wray is scheduled to testify Thursday, amped up their own calls for an investigation into the “unprecedented bias” against President Trump at the FBI.

Strzok, it was reported over the weekend, was booted from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team this summer after it was discovered that he sent texts expressing “anti-Trump political views,” as the New York Times described them. The revelation came as part of an inspector general probe into the Justice Department’s handling of the matters related to the 2016 election, according to the Times.

Grassley’s letter, which was made public Wednesday, noted his previous request to interview Strzok, a request to which Grassley said he had yet not received a response from Justice Department. (The DOJ confirmed to TPM separately earlier this week that Strzok had been cleared for an interview with the House Intelligence Committee, whose chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has been threatening to hold top Justice Department officials in contempt of Congress.)

Grassley’s letter went on to request an assortment of records related to Strzok’s reported involvement in the Clinton email probe, the FBI’s Russia investigation and “All communications sent to, received by, or copying Mr. Strzok containing unfavorable statements about Donald J. Trump or favorable statements about Hillary Clinton.” Grassley is also seeking documents related to the FBI’s interview of Flynn, which Fox News reported Tuesday Strzok oversaw, as well as Strzok-related records concerning Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who put together the Trump-Russia dossier.

Congressional Republicans are joining Trump in their interest in scrutinizing Strzok. After this weekend’s reports, Trump retweeted a tweet calling on Wray to “clean house,” while tweeting himself that the FBI’s reputation was “in Tatters.”

Read the full Grassley letter below:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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