Watch CBSN Live

Peter Strzok agrees to testify before Congress next week

DOJ watchdog pressed on political bias

The FBI's Peter Strzok has agreed to go before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, according to his attorney, Aitan Goelman. Strzok's agreement is in response to a subpoena requiring his appearance, after he already appeared for a behind-closed-doors meeting on Capitol Hill. 

Strzok, who worked on the FBI's investigations into Hillary Clinton's emails and Russian meddling in the 2016 election before briefly joining special counsel Robert Mueller's team, was the subject of criticism in last month's Department of Justice inspector general report on the handling of the Clinton probe. He had already been criticized for sending text messages critical of President Trump during the campaign. 

Strzok's attorney said in a statement that, even though it will be impossible for his client to get a fair hearing, claiming some House members have a political bias and "disdain for the truth," Strzok still wants to play by the rules in order to attempt to have the unfiltered truth be heard.

"If members of Congress actually want to be honest with the American people and seek a fair process, they must publicly release the transcript of Pete's previous 11-hour testimony," Goelman said in the statement. "Today we sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee requesting that the public have access to that testimony prior to the July 12th hearing."

A letter from Goelman to the House Judiciary Committee calling for the release of the transcript cites concerns about leaks and alleged misrepresentations that followed that hearing. If the committee refuses to do so, Goelman asked that the committee at least provide him and his client a copy. 

Strzok was a top official at the FBI when he sent and received a number of text messages with then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page that criticized then-candidate Donald Trump. Strozk and Page were investigating Clinton's use of a private email server while at the State Department. Strzok also worked on special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign, until he was removed last year.

The Department of Justice inspector general's report released last month revealed more messages in which Strzok seemed to be critical of Mr. Trump. In one exchange with Page, Strzok suggested "we'll stop" Mr. Trump from reaching the White House. That message, highlighted by the Justice Department watchdog, particularly unsettled Mr. Trump and his supporters. 

Shortly after the report emerged, Strzok was escorted from the FBI's headquarters.

View CBS News In