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THE LEAD WITH JAKE TAPPER
FBI Agent Who Sent Anti-Trump Texts Grilled By Lawmakers. Aired 4:30-5p ET
Aired July 12, 2018 - 16:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PETER STRZOK, FBI AGENT WHO SENT ANTI-TRUMP TEXTS: And I cannot stress enough that I ask all of you to take deeply your responsibility to maintain our system of government.
[16:30:07] COLEMAN: Thank you, Mr. Strzok.
I just need to say in closing if anybody should be pissed at the FBI because you all helped this unfit man become president of the United States by not revealing to the people that he was under investigation in this campaign, it should be me. They should be applauding you, kissing you and giving you all awards because but for you we would have had a legitimate president elected. I yield back my time.
TREY GOWDY (R), SOUTH CAROLINA: The gentleman from New York is recognized for unanimous consent.
REP. JERROLD NADLER (D-NY), RANKING MEMBER, JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: Mr. Chairman, as you are aware under House rules, minority members have the right to demand a day of hearings to allow witnesses to testify on the subject of today's hearing. As you also know, during the course of today's hearing, the majority opposed Representative Swalwell's motion to subpoena Steve Bannon for testimony.
On behalf of the minority members of both the judiciary and government reform committees, I am delivering a letter to Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Gowdy, formally invoking our rights to minority day of hearings so that Steve Bannon may testify and I ask unanimous consent to insert a copy of that letter into the hearting record?
GOWDY: Without objection.
The gentleman from Georgia is recognized.
REP. DOUG COLLINS (R), GEORGIA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Strzok, I appreciate you being here. Thank you. And I will take this very seriously.
Bu also, I want to -- as you go in and look, there has been a lot of talk about text, there's been a lot of talk about your bias, non-bias, your opinions and your willingness to elaborate on that. I have some questions that will not require you to have to be elaborate or anything. They're going to be simple, straightforward questions, because as I have been looking through this and also talking to the current FBI director, the current deputy attorney general, and reading through things that popped up that I think at least need some clarification.
When was the last time you were subject to a polygraph?
STRZOK: Approximately two or three years ago.
COLLINS: Two or three years ago. To your knowledge, have you ever failed a polygraph or found to be out of scope?
STRZOK: I never failed one. I was out of scope prior to my last polygraph.
COLLINS: When -- and that would have been at what time? You said two to three years ago. Could you be more specific?
STRZOK: Sir, I think, we can cut to the chase, I think there's an e- mail that talks about people being out of scope for a polygraph, which generated my last polygraph.
COLLINS: Oh, don't worry, we're going to cut the chase. So you want to go ahead and say January 2016 when you received a text or e-mail, correct?
STRZOK: Sir, if that's the date, I stipulate to that. I don't have those dates.
COLLINS: OK, we'll take that as a stipulation.
Has an examiner ever accused you of attempting to use countermeasures during a polygraph examination?
STRZOK: Not to my recollection, no.
COLLINS: You received your email in January, as you stated. And you have stipulated too, your polygraph was out of scope in January 2016. To your knowledge, how long was your polygraph out of scope?
STRZOK: Sir, I don't know. I recall the penultimate -- the second to last polygraph I had was when I was a supervisor at Washington field office which would have occurred somewhere between 2008 and 2011. My understanding what out of scope means to the FBI is that polygraphs have a five-year span of effectiveness or validity.
We had several people we were trying to get read into a particular intelligence compartment. They ran the names. Me and others were out of scope which happens because polygraphs are -- the line for polygraphs is longer --
COLLINS: I understand. I'm (INAUDIBLE) military, Mr. Strzok. I understand the lines for polygraph. I understand the delays in them. However, you happen to hold a very secure job and very one that is highly sensitive.
So, the question is again, I would assume to answer your evasiveness, you did not know how long you were out of scope? Is that correct, yes or no?
STRZOK: I was trying to re-create my recollection --
COLLINS: So, yes or not, do you know how long you were out of scope?
STRZOK: I do not.
COLLINS: OK. What was taken? What steps were taken to bring you into scope?
STRZOK: I went and had a polygraph.
COLLINS: When was then -- was this after the January 16 letter that you received?
STRZOK: It would have been afterwards. Yes, sir.
COLLINS: If you were out of scope, the last time -- when was the last time you accessed classified information?
STRZOK: Last -- night before last preparing for this.
COLLINS: OK. Do you currently have what classification?
STRZOK: I have a top secret clearance with SCI compartments.
COLLINS: OK. During the time that you were out of scope, did you have access to SCI?
STRZOK: Yes, sir.
COLLINS: Are you aware that it is FBI procedure that a failure or out of scope polygraph does not terminate a top secret but however a failure of this would require you to be rid out of SCI access, although you could maintain your top secret? This was a direct answer from a question that I posed and was received within the last week. Were you aware that you should have been rid out of any SCI information when you're out of scope?
STRZOK: I believe you use the word failure which implies in my mind a failed poly. I am not and was not aware of the fact that an out of scope polygraph required a rid out of SCI.
[16:35:03] COLLINS: Then, the question -- I accept that, Mr. Strzok. I want to have a bite (ph) of the question. The answer came back from the FBI that it was the procedure. So the next question I have is after 2018 you did your polygraph at what time? You said you were out of scope. You're brought in by getting a polygraph. When would that have been?
STRZOK: Again, sir, my recollection is that 2016 timeframe. But I -- after that e-mail, but I don't know when. Within a month or two, I think.
COLLINS: Are you also aware in publicly stated version of the I.G. report that there has been some serious questions and issues concerning polygraph information and lack of polygraph procedures in the Department of Justice and FBI that was brought out by the inspector general?
STRZOK: I'm not generally aware that there was a report, but I'm not aware of the conclusions.
COLLINS: One of the general concerns on this is that when you are out of scope and this is the answer from Department of Justice you should have been read out of SCI. My concern is, is that during this timeframe, you were involved in two very high profile would what have been or getting ready for SCI information in which you were not read out of.
This is a concern. There's nothing else from that question. I have no further questions. And I am finish.
STRZOK: I think you misstated the conclusion there, sir. I think you said that --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Strzok, the gentleman from Georgia controls the time.
COLLINS: Mr. Strzok --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The time is over. Mr. Chairman, the time is up.
STRZOK: May I respond, sir?
COLLINS: There was no question to respond to. The answer is from the Department of Justice, I read you the answer.
STRZOK: May I comment to what I believe is a misstatement?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Briefly.
STRZOK: Sir, from your answer what I took it to be is in the event of a failure an individual should be rid out. You are conflating that with out of scope or failure. It is not my understanding that out of scope requires somebody to be rid out. It may be. I'm not a security professional but, you're afraid of --
COLLINS: You are out of sync with an answer received by department of justice. The question becomes is policies and procedures fail or not fail. This is a serious investigation which I do take seriously. If you were to have been rid out you should have been rid out. That is my final answer, statement. Not a question, not a pose, I yield back.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman from Rhode Island, Mr. Cicilline, is recognized.
REP. DAVID CICILLINE (D), RHODE ISLAND: Mr. Chairman, I look forward to a couple of extra minutes as each of my colleagues have had.
Mr. Strzok, serving on this committee representing the state of Rhode Island has been one of the greatest honors of my life. But the conduct of this committee today has been for me tremendously sad, embarrassing and really dangerous to our democracy.
I want to apologize to you for the way you have been treated by the committee. For the American people watching you may not wonder why they have lost confidence in the Congress and sick of the kind of circus that they saw in conducting this room today. Rather than focusing on urgent issues like family separation, reasonable efforts to reduce gun violence in our communities, considering legislation to reform our broken immigration system, passing legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, addressing inability of Americans who fall behind in their student loans to discharge the debt in bankruptcy or oversight of conflicts of interest and corruption of this administration, we are having yet another hearing on the Hillary Clinton e-mails.
What you should understand Mr. Strzok is the reason my Republican colleagues will not let you answer a question is because they are not interested in your answers. This is about promoting a narrative. You are a prop so they can promote a narrative in an ongoing effort to distract from the serious investigation of the special counsel that is closing in on the Trump inner circle. This is a campaign to undermine that work. And sadly, they will do whatever is necessary to do it in concert with the president, attack the FBI, attack the Department of Justice, undermine the rule of law.
And so, your e-mails are a perfect foil for this effort. They are not interested in hearing your context and your explanations, because it's not about you. It is about protecting the president.
My colleagues have acted more like they are on the defense team for Donald Trump than exercising their very serious oversight responsibilities as members of these two committees. You know, Robert Mueller was praised to the heavens by everyone, Republican and Democratic alike, when he was appointed. Now, he is a villain.
What is the only thing that has changed? Nineteen indictments, five guilty pleas and the circle is closing in.
So I accept your sworn testimony about the difference between bias and the actions you took. We don't have to take your word for it alone although I do, the I.G. report of 500 pages, interviews, review of documents comes to the same conclusions.
We find the decisions made were consistent with the analytic approach described above. We found that these specific decisions were the result of discretionary judgment (INAUDIBLE) by the agents and prosecutors, and that these judgments were all reasonable.
[16:40:06] So, it's -- we don't have -- there is a big analysis that was done, lots of interviews, 500 pages. That's the same conclusion, the same representation you made today.
But don't be frustrated because they are not interested in that. This is about promoting a narrative. So, we know, of course, Mr. Strzok, that the president, the
intelligence communities unequivocally conclude that Russia interfered in our elections, that it was directed by Vladimir Putin for the purposes of helping Donald Trump and hurting Hillary Clinton.
Isn't that correct?
STRZOK: Yes, sir.
CICILLINE: Do you have any reason to doubt the assessment of our intelligence agencies that made with high confidence?
STRZOK: No, sir.
CICILLINE: And thereafter, the Senate Intelligence Committee, in a bipartisan way, a Republican-led committee came to the same conclusion, isn't that right?
STRZOK: Yes, sir.
CICILLINE: Yet the president of the United States continue to deny that the Russian government interfered in our elections. In fact, just as recently as June 28, the president said Russia continues to say they had nothing to do with meddling in our elections.
STRZOK: Yes, sir.
CICILLINE: And even Secretary Nielsen said I do not believe I have seen that conclusion that the specific intent was to help President Trump win.
STRZOK: I don't recall hearing that but --
CICILLINE: And in addition to that, you know about a Trump Tower meeting where there was a discussion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian operatives, correct?
STRZOK: I am aware of that.
CICILLINE: And the president then --
STRZOK: Sir, I would just not characterize it one way or the other as Russian operatives or not, but I'm aware of them.
CICILLINE: OK, and in that meeting, there was a discussion about some dirt that the Russians had on Hillary Clinton, OK?
STRZOK: Media reporting has indicated that.
CICILLINE: And the president then issued a statement in which he lied about the meeting and said it was about an adoption discussion, correct?
STRZOK: Those statements have been made. Again, I'm relying on what is reported in the media, not FBI or special counsel. CICILLINE: So, would you tell me, Mr. Strzok, at the time I had remaining, what should we conclude? What raises eyebrows for you about members of a presidential campaign meeting with foreign adversary of the United States to talk about dirt about their opponent and then lying about the nature of that meeting? Why should that concern the American people?
STRZOK: Sir, I don't want -- I don't want to comment on any specific fact pattern or anything that relates to an ongoing investigation. You know, so I hesitate and I don't want to do that in this context.
CICILLINE: OK. Thank you.
Mr. Chairman, I just like to note for the record, we've had zero hearings on Russian interference in the American presidential election, zero hearings in this committee about our efforts to secure our democracy and secure the elections coming up in November. We have had hundreds of hours devoted to Hillary Clinton's e-mail.
This committee has failed in responsibilities to secure our elections, which is a responsibility we have to the American people. And then when we finally have an opportunity to raise the issue, instead we're going to talk about Hillary Clinton's email. Shame on all of them.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Time of the gentleman has expired.
CICILLINE: History is going to judge them very harshly for this behavior.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The gentleman from Florida, Mr. DeSantis, for five minutes.
REP. RON DESANTIS (R), FLORIDA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Strzok, you defended your actions and said that you did not evince bias, that your actions weren't motivated by bias. But the inspector general disagreed when asked about the insurance policy text, the "we'll stop it" text, you provided an explanation similar that you did today. He found your explanation to be unpersuasive.
And you're aware of that, correct?
STRZOK: I'm not aware of that with regard to that text.
DESANTIS: Well, he did. He testified when we had him in here in June and in response to my questioning. He also said that your explanation for how you handled the Anthony Weiner laptop, you delayed, you didn't take action initially, he said your explanation for that, and he did note that in the report, was not persuasive. You're aware of that, correct?
STRZOK: So, I am aware of facts rebutting -- that he has rebutting that specific assertion.
DESANTIS: Well, he testified to us that he was not persuaded by your explanation for why you focused on the Trump-Russia collusion and you let the Weiner thing sit. Then he testified that it was reasonable to infer that your actions involving Weiner's laptop, the fact that you didn't pursue that aggressively, that it is reasonable to infer that it was because of the bias that you have in the text messages.
Are you aware of his testimony with that?
STRZOK: Not specific to that, but I'll accept your representation with this.
DESANTIS: Yes, and I think it's important to show while the I.G. report said the Clinton charging decision was not necessarily due to bias, he said the Weiner is absolutely a fair game to infer that and then they're obviously continuing to investigate the genesis of this Russia interference case.
Do you also know that Rod Rosenstein on June 28 when he testified in front of this committee, he said you were biased? Are you aware of that in response to my question?
STRZOK: I'm not aware of that.
DESANTIS: Yes, he did.
And he also says that the bias that you evinced, it does undermine the integrity of your investigative actions and it causes the American people to lose confidence in the institution. Did you know he said that?
STRZOK: I don't and he's --
DESANTIS: Well, he did. So, I just -- the idea that there is no bias here is not -- I don't think your explanations have been credible. And I think that if you acted so appropriately -- you know, Mueller removed you from the team.
[16:45:00] You're now at human resources which is obviously a demotion. And then you are now the -- one of the subjects of an ongoing I.G. investigation correct?
PETER STRZOK, AGENT, FBI: No, sir.
DESANTIS: You're not -- your conduct is not being reviewed by Horowitz about what you did or did not do --
STRZOK: I'm unaware of being a subject of any ongoing well I.G. --
DESANTIS: Well, I bet you your conduct as at issue there. Let me ask you this. You opened up the counterintelligence investigation on 31 July, was that because of the George Papadopoulos information.
STRZOK: Sir, I can't get into -- the guidance that the FBI has provided me about answers I can provide that gets into a level of detail that I can't -- that I've been directed not to provide.
DESANTIS: Well, now you answered some questions. I mean, I think this has been a little bit of convenience. I mean, you've answered some questions about there was grave concerns and all this stuff about why you were doing it, you didn't do that. The dossier was the dossier a part of why you opened up the investigation.
STRZOK: No. But, sir, none of this has been convenient. All of this is based on what the department has worked out with Chairman Goodlatte about what is permitted not. This is not a function --
DESANTIS: So the dossier was not part of it. That's important. When did you learn the dossier was funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party?
STRZOK: I cannot -- I don't think that's an accurate representation in the Department or the FBI's direction is not to answer that question based on --
DESANTIS: Well, right. So, Hillary, DNC sent to Perkins (INAUDIBLE) who sent the Fusion who paid you know, I mean, come on. It was a political document, correct.
STRZOK: Again that's -- the latter's closer. I'm not -- I cannot comment. The FBI has directed me to not answer that question --
DESANTIS: Would it be fair to say that the dossier -- what would you choose, is it a political document opposition research or is it legitimate intelligence?
STRZOK: Sir, I would very much like to answer that question.
STRZOK: I've been directed by the FBI that I may not get into that based on operational requirements or equities.
DESANTIS: So here's the issue I think we have. We see the bias that you did, your explanations for why you said what you did you know, really aren't credible. We're trying to get to the genesis of why open up a counterintelligence investigation against the opposing parties campaign. I'm with you about focusing on Russia and holding them accountable but you tried to rope in the other party's nominee. There was also a lot of bias and then we can't get any answers to the questions of what the genesis of any of this was.
STRZOK: Sir --
DESANTIS: And -- let me finish May 18th, Chairman Gowdy mentioned you say look there my concerns that there's no big there-there. So this had been going on for at least ten months. I think it was going on before July 31st and there you are Mueller's appointed and you can't even identify any reason to suspect that there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Russia. There was no big there after 10 months so that's the concern is that somebody like you who said we'll stop him, who said we need an insurance policy that you let that bias, you wanted there to be something there. You wanted it to be true in that I think influenced your actions. You can prove us wrong by providing us the information. I'd like the information on any type of informant pre-July 31st. I like the information on what you use to open up the counterintelligence investigation. I want to know whether that was any foreign intelligence involved there was or whether it was funneled through the State Department. These are all questions that if we just put those out and answer them then a lot of us would be able to then make -- I think the American people can make a judgment. I'm going over my time. I yield back.
STRZOK: Mr. Chairman --
REP. BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA), CHAIRMAN, HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE: The time of the gentleman has expired. Briefly.
STRZOK: Sir, two things. You ask why I couldn't explain why a case would be open. I don't that's accurate. If you look at Director Comey statement when the Department of Justice had authorized him to say that the FBI had opened a case into allegations that the Government of Russia had made an offer of assistance in the potential involvement of members of the Trump campaign, I cannot envision a scenario where that would not be a reasonable predication to open an investigation.
DESANTIS: It's Papadopoulos, that's not quite what they what they had. He didn't quite get there. I know Comey, may have said that but you didn't quite get there. So if it's Papadopoulos that's a weak --
STRZOK: I think the characterization was that it was a credible source of information stands on its own. I don't think anybody in this committee would argue that one, it wasn't appropriate to open that and two that it wasn't absolutely --
DESANTIS: We have questions about whether it was appropriate because we don't know the underlying information. We read in The New York Times from leaks that it was because Papadopoulos said at a bar --
GOODLATTE: The time of the gentleman has expired.
STRZOK: I'm trying to respond, sir.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Regular order. Regular order.
GOODLATTE: The Chair recognizes the gentleman --
STRZOK: Mr. Chairman, there is -- I was not -- there's a second element of the question that --
GOODLATTE: Very -- no --
STRZOK: You raised the question about whether or not I agreed with the Inspector General that I had acted in any way that was biased --
[16:50:00] GOODLATTE: You had an opportunity to answer that already.
STRZOK: No, I did not though.
GOODLATTE: The gentleman from Illinois Mr. Krishnamoorthi has recognized five minutes. REP. RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI (D), ILLINOIS: Thank you, Mr. Chair. Thank
you, Mr. Strzok. Mr. Strzok, on July 3rd your lawyer Mr. Goldman made the following statement to Chris Cuomo on CNN regarding you, his client, on Fox News they talk about him as the center of this anti- Trump cabal that was determined to throw the election against Trump. None of this has a shred of truth. Do you agree with this statement, sir?
STRZOK: I do.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: And in a June 19th op-ed in USA Today your lawyer said regarding the Russia investigation, what we call the Russia collusion investigation that you and your team "went out of their way to prevent leaks and actively ensured that news reports did not overplay the seriousness of the investigation." Is that true, sir?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Now tell us why it's so important to prevent leaks from the FBI to journalists or to others.
STRZOK: Leaks are terrible. They undercut things in a variety of ways. They can upend investigations, they can lead to incorrect assumptions. They can let witnesses and subjects know that they're being investigated. They can lead the wild speculation, destruction of evidence any number really bad disclosure of classified information, any number of really bad adverse things.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Got it. The DOJ, I.G.'s report has this to say about your involvement in the decision to inform Congress about the Weiner laptop. "Strzok explained that the decision to seek a search warrant for the Weiner laptop was known to many people beyond the mid-year team and this raised a concern that this information could leak." Is this statement from the I.G. report true?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Now, could you unpack that for us a little bit. First of all, you said according to the I.G.s report that the search warrant for the Weiner laptop was known to many people beyond the mid- year team. Could you explain whether any of those people would be in the New York field office?
STRZOK: So the -- my recollection is that the investigation of the crimes against (INAUDIBLE) case, Mr. Weiner was handled out of the New York field office by the Southern District in New York or maybe the Eastern District. I think it was SDNY.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: And so the people to whom you are referring included people in the New York field office, correct?
STRZOK: That's correct.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: And you had concerns about their actions if Director Comey did not inform Congress about this Weiner laptop. STRZOK: I did not have concerns about New York. My concerns were just general that the more people who are aware of something, the greater chance that it leaks out somehow. But those concerns are not specific in my mind to New York.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: OK, let me ask you about this. In a report -- in that same report Attorney General Loretta Lynch recalls a conversation with then-Director Comey in the final days of the 2016 election, "He, referring to Comey said it's clear to me that there's a cadre of senior people in New York who a deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton." And he said it is "deep." Were you aware of this -- of this concern?
STRZOK: I was aware of the -- certainly some of the press reporting and some people expressing that concern, yes.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Was one of those people Director Comey?
STRZOK: A person having that concern?
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Could you explain to me a little bit about that and how that in your view affected the revelation of the warrant for Weiner's laptop.
STRZOK: You'd have to ask Director Comey that. I think the -- there was discussion I remember and particularly some of it was in the context of reporting from Mr. Giuliani and others talking about connections to New York but again, I don't want to escape goat New York because a lot of people were aware of it and there were concerns just about the number of folks but with regard to Mr. Comey my recollection is that he was aware of those concerns but I was not privy to discussions he had with the Attorney General or other concerns he might have had outside of my presence or conversation.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Now, with regard to Mr. Giuliani. On October 25th, then Trump Campaign Advisor Rudy Giuliani promised a "pretty big surprise coming up in the campaign." On October 28th, Giuliani claimed to be in contact with former agents and a "few active agents who obviously don't want to identify themselves." Let me make sure I have this right. There was a concern that there was a deep and visceral hatred toward Secretary Clinton in the New York field office, at the same time Mr. Giuliani says that he's having contacts with agents, active agents. What is -- can you give us your take on this and your comments on this particular issue.
[16:55:00] STRZOK: I recall that comment. I recall it caused me a lot of concern, you know --
KRISHNAMOORTHI: And why? Why did it cause you concern?
STRZOK: Because while it's certainly possible that Mr. Giuliani is exaggerating or engaging in some sort of puffery, the reality is that also given the things that were going on giving timing that the laptop was there and he was talking about that in the context of a big surprise. It caused me great concern that he had information about that.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: In other words --
STRZOK: That he should not have had.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: That he should not have had.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Through a leak?
STRZOK: Though an unauthorized disclosure, sure, leak, yes.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: Thank you, sir.
GOODLATTE: The members are advised that there are floor -- votes on the floor of the House. Four votes -- Mr. Strzok you probably have a good 45 minutes to -- all right, members are advised that this will be the last one so if you want to head to the floor for votes but the Chair recognizes the Gentleman from Kentucky, Mr. Massie.
REP. THOMAS MASSIE (R), KENTUCKY: Mr. Chairman I yield my five minutes to the gentleman from Ohio, Mr. Jordan.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R), OHIO: Just a c0uple questions. Agents Strzok, in earlier around you, said you never talk to Glenn Simpson, right?
JORDAN: And you never talk to Nellie Ohr.
JORDAN: And you wouldn't say whether you knew if Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion. Is that correct?
STRZOK: My understanding from my direction above, the FBI is I'm not permitted to answer that question.
JORDAN: OK. But you did say you talked with Bruce Ohr, fellow Department of Justice employee and Nellie Ohr's husband.
JORDAN: But it is common knowledge that Nellie Ohr worked for Fusion in the summer 2016, is that right?
STRZOK: I don't know if it's common knowledge or not.
JORDAN: It's been in all kinds of reports, all kinds of press reports.
STRZOK: It is now, absolutely. JORDAN: All right, you met with Bruce or in 2016 and 2017 so the time
period that we're focused on.
STRZOK: To the best of my recollection, yes.
JORDAN: All right. And you won't tell me what you guys talked about.
STRZOK: Sir, I can tell you we talked about operational matters that he was involved in but the FBI's directed me not to give you -- not to get into specifics.
JORDAN: Specifically you can't. You can't get into specifics and details. Did Bruce Ohr give you any documents?
STRZOK: Sir, same answer. It's -- I would like to answer that question but the FBI's directed me not to get into --
JORDAN: You can't -- my understanding is, Mr. Chairman, the discussions we've had with the FBI, he's allowed to tell us those kinds of pieces of information. I'm not asking what the documents were. I'm just asking did Bruce or ever hand you documents.
STRZOK: I understand full well what your question is, sir, and I would love to answer it. My understanding from the FBI is when it comes to operational details including whether or not we collected evidence or didn't that I'm not permitted to answer that. I would -- sir, I would love to answer that question.
JORDAN: All these -- I mean you understand where I'm where I'm coming from right, Agent Strzok?
STRZOK: Sir, I understand your frustration and what I'm here to tell you is I think the answers would --
JORDAN: You understand -- yes, you understand we got an e-mail from you briefing everybody on the team, all the key players, (INAUDIBLE), Baker, Page, (INAUDIBLE), Priestap, and Andy McCabe. And in that e- mail, you say the dossier that you are now looking at the BuzzFeed is printing has differences from the one given to us by Corn and Simpson. Earlier today I asked you who Corn and Simpson is and you wouldn't answer that. It's kind of funny to me because yesterday David Corn tweeted out. He's the Corn in your e-mail. So the guy himself has identified himself. We all know it's David corn and then the other name is Simpson. So you have this and we're wondering how the dossier got -- or if more importantly, if the dossier got to the FBI through media sources, not just through Christopher Steele. And of course, we know Nellie Ohr worked for the guy you are mentioning, Glenn Simpson. She worked for him the whole time. You've never had conversations with her, but you did have a lot of important conversations on operational matters and ongoing investigations with her husband Bruce Ohr who's also happened to be reassigned at the Department of Justice. And I'm just -- and you've said that -- you won't answer the question whether Mr. Ohr has giving you documents or not. So I'm just wondering if that was the route. Was that the rout the dossier went, Glenn Simpson, to Nellie Ohr, to her husband and then to you. That's my frustration. STRZOK: I understand your question. I understand your frustration.
I understand the absurdity of something produced that you are reading that I have been directed not to answer question about. The best I --
STRZOK: I would like to answer you but I'm afraid that was an answer that would both reassure you and disappoint you.
JORDAN: Well, we're going to be asking I think Mr. Chairman if it's OK with you. We're going to be asking the FBI and Department of Justice to give us the documents that may or may not have been exchanged between Mr. Ohr and Agent Strzok. I think that's something this committee would like to have and see what those -- if in fact there were documents. What the heck they were. I got a minute, I'll yield it to --
STRZOK: Sir, you're going to love this. It's going to upset the vote. I have been instructed that the FBI --