House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte on Thursday defended the questioning of FBI agent Peter Strzok, who had texted anti-Trump messages.
In opening remarks before Mr. Strzok testifies before two congressional committees, Mr. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, said lawmakers’ probe into whether political biases at the Department of Justice and FBI “goes to the very heart of our system of justice.’
“Mr. Strzok and others inside the FBI and DOJ turned our system of Justice on its head,” he said. “That is why we are here, and why this matters.”
Mr. Goodlatte also took aim at Democrats on the Judiciary Committee who have accused Republicans of using Mr. Strzok’s testimony to undermine the special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into election interference.
On Wednesday, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, a Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, demanded Republicans release the transcript of Mr. Strzok’s closed-door testimony. He claimed the transcript will show Republicans were more interested in Mr. Strzok’s politics than Russian meddling in the presidential election.
Mr. Goodlatte pushed back, however. He said if Mr. Strzok was revealed to have a political bias against Hillary Clinton, instead of President Trump, they would be demanding similar hearings.
“Suppose all of this had been said about candidate Obama before he was elected or, even more topical, about Hillary Clinton while she was running in the same election?” he said. “Would we be where we are today? The only honest answer is an absolute affirmative ‘Yes!’ “