Political News

House Judiciary chairman subpoenas Peter Strzok to be deposed

Posted June 22, 2018 6:36 p.m. EDT

— House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte on Friday subpoenaed FBI agent Peter Strzok to be deposed by the House Judiciary and Oversight committees next week.

Special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from his team last summer after an internal investigation revealed Strzok had exchanged text messages with another FBI official disparaging President Donald Trump.

The deposition is set for Wednesday. Since it will not be public, it is not clear if it will be released at a later date.

It is also unclear why Goodlatte issued a subpoena, as Strzok's attorney had sent a letter to the committee saying Strzok would voluntarily testify before the committee or any other congressional committee that invites him.

"We regret that the Committee felt it necessary to issue a subpoena when we repeatedly informed them that Pete was willing to testify voluntarily," Strzok's attorney, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement Friday.

Last week, Strzok was escorted from the FBI building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings at the bureau on his conduct -- a dramatic fall for a special agent who used to serve as the No. 2 in the counterintelligence division.

Before joining Mueller's team, Stzrok was part of the FBI team investigating connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia.

While he is still technically employed at the FBI, his future there remains uncertain in the wake of a report by the Justice Department Inspector General's Office. Inspector General Michael Horowitz has said he could not conclude that Strzok's decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over the Hillary Clinton email probe in the fall of 2016 was "free from bias."

Yet Stzrok told Justice Department investigators that had he actually wanted to prevent Trump from being elected, he would not have maintained confidentiality about the investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians in the months before the election.