Peter Strzok Was Open to Foreign Influence, Top FBI Official Testifies
FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence tells lawmakers agent was 'vulnerable'
The FBI's top counterintelligence official has testified before Congress that disgraced former agent Peter Strzok left himself open to influence from foreign intelligence services.
Bill Priestap, the FBI’s assistant director for counterintelligence, told lawmakers during a closed-door testimony last June that Strzok's extramarital affair with ex-Bureau lawyer Lisa Page made him "vulnerable" to influence from foreign agents.
On June 5, 2018, Priestap stated under oath that he confronted Strzok and Page over their extramarital relationship after hearing rumors.
“But after Pete had been reporting to me for a considerable amount of time, somebody brought to my attention that that behavior might be going on,” Priestap said, according to a transcript of his testimony released Tuesday by the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee - Georgia Rep. Doug Collins.
"And so that’s when it — I became aware that that was a possibility."
Priestap said he was tipped off about the affair by either Sally Moyer, a Justice Department lawyer, or Jonathan Moffa, an FBI counterintelligence officer.
He said that he reported the affair to Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, as well as speaking to Strzok and Page about their relationship.
“I felt I owed it to them. Lisa did not report to me, but I felt that they ought to be aware of what was being said,” he said.
"I didn’t ask them if it was true, but they needed to know that that impression was out there.
“And I don’t remember my exact words.
"But what I was trying to communicate is this better not interfere with things, if you know what I mean.
"Like, to me, the mission is everything. And so, we all have our personal lives, what have you. I’m not the morality police.”
According to Fox News, Priestap was then asked by a congressional staffer whether the affair behavior could make Page and Strzok “vulnerable to an intelligence service.”
“In my opinion, yes,” the FBI official responded, noting that “if that was going on, that potentially makes them vulnerable.”
This wasn’t the only time the issue of the affair being a potential target of foreign spies was mentioned in Congress.
During Strzok’s congressional testimony, he dismissed the suggestions that the affair made him vulnerable to the influence of foreign intelligence agencies.
Strzok, who was fired from the FBI last summer, and Page both investigated the alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
But they were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after their anti-Trump electronic messages were discovered in which they communicated about stopping Trump from becoming president.
In one message Strzok referred to an “insurance policy” that was discussed with McCabe in the event of Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election.