Peter Strzok, the former FBI agent who was ousted after coming under fire from President Trump, is warning that the Justice Department is improperly acting on behalf of the president thanks to the influence of Attorney General Barr.
“I’m concerned,” Strzok told CBSN anchor Vladimir Duthiers. “The things that I have heard the attorney general say, some of the actions of the Department of Justice — unfolding or rolling back the prosecution of General [Michael] Flynn, the sentencing of Roger Stone — give me great concern.”
In addition to being accused of interfering in the cases of Trump allies Flynn and Stone, Barr’s DOJ has recently sparked uproar for moving to defend Mr. Trump in a defamation suit filed by writer E. Jean Carroll, who accused the president of raping her in the 1990s — a claim he denies. Barr has also been criticized for his role in the decision to have officers forcibly clear protesters outside the White House, clearing the way for President Trump to hold a photo op at a nearby church.
“These are not the actions of a blind, independent Department of Justice,” Strzok said.
He said the DOJ’s actions “smack of political partisanship,” and he accused the department under Barr of “unraveling” how the DOJ historically operates.
After taking over the Justice Department, Barr, who inherited the Russia investigation, called it illegitimate and likened the intelligence community’s probe into the Trump campaign to “spying.”
Strzok said those claims are “absolutely inaccurate.”
“Those are false statements,” he told CBSN. “There’s no way that anybody on the line at the FBI can hear those statements and not have it impact what they’re doing, specifically in regards to Russia, and particularly the Trump administration or Trump himself.”
In his new book, “Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump,” Strzok recounts the process investigating then-candidate Trump and makes the case for the president being compromised by Russia.
Strzok had been a high-level FBI official when he was fired in 2018 over the release of text messages in which he and another agent spoke of an “insurance policy” to undermine Trump and expressed dismay over his campaign and eventual election.
Strzok denied any bias in carrying out investigations into both the Clinton and Trump campaigns, maintaining that the agency “bent over backwards” to make sure nothing at the time “would adversely impact their campaigns.”
“What I can tell you is every agent in the FBI has a political opinion, but each and every day what I saw in myself and others over the course of 20 years was that when people walk in the doors, they set that aside,” Strzok said. “They walk in, they do their job and pursue the truth objectively.”