Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) blasted former Special Counsel Robert Mueller for hiring “a bunch of people that did not like the president” – like Peter Strzok – during the House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday morning.
During the contentious exchange, the Texas lawmaker questioned Mueller about his decision to stack his team with people who hated President Trump.
“So most prosecutors want to make sure there’s no appearance of impropriety, but in your case, you hired a bunch of people that did not like the president,” Gohmert said, before asking Mueller when he found out about Strzok’s “animus” toward the president.
“In the summer of 2017,” Mueller said.
“You didn’t know before he was hired for your team?” Gohmert asked.
“Know what?” Mueller asked.
“Peter Strzok hated Trump. You didn’t know that before he was made part of your team?” Gohmert pressed.
Mueller contended he was not aware at the time of Strzok’s initial assignment.
“I did not know that. When I did find out, I acted swiftly to have him reassigned elsewhere in the FBI,” Mueller claimed.
“Well, there’s some discussion about how swift that was,” Gohmert replied, before asking Mueller when he found out about Strzok’s affair with Lisa Page. Mueller claimed he found out “about the same time” that Stzrok’s hostility toward Trump came to light.
“Did you ever order anyone to investigate the deletion of all of their texts off of their government phones?” Gohmert pressed.
Mueller did not initially answer the question but eventually conceded.
“No. There was an IG investigation ongoing,” he said.
🔥Savage destruction of Mueller from Rep. Gohmert🔥
Gohmert: Did you know that your entire team was full of venomous Trump-hating hacks?
Mueller: Know what?
Gohmert: Your investigator Peter Strzok hated Trump.
Gohmert: You didn’t know that?
Mueller: *mumbles* pic.twitter.com/t3nbHVy15Q
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) July 24, 2019
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president right? Right?!” Page asked Strzok, according to the text messages.
“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.
Strzok also teased an “insurance policy” in a text to Page in August 2016: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration…that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
A report from a federal watchdog released December 2018 indicated that Mueller’s team scrubbed Strzok’s and Page’s phones before turning them over to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG). It reportedly determined that they “contained no substantive text messages.
“SCO’s Records Officer told the OIG that as part of the office’s records retention procedure, the officer reviewed Strzok’s DOJ issued iPhone after he returned it to the SCO and determined it contained no substantive text messages,” the watchdog report stated in part.
So Mueller's team wiped ALL of the data off of Peter Strzok's iPhone after determining "it contained no substantive text messages." Given what we know about Strzok, this smells like quite the coverup. Time for Congress to step in?https://t.co/mOgpBbDVO4 pic.twitter.com/9w2mEPK64C
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) December 13, 2018
The FBI fired Strzok last August.