Strzok: ‘I Don’t Think Bias Was Expressed in Those Text Messages,’ Didn’t Consider Recusing Myself

‘I cannot speak to why director Mueller chose to remove me from the investigation, but I can tell you that those text messages are not indicative of bias’

EXCERPT:

GOODLATTE: “Mr. Strzok, did you ever consider recusing yourself since you had such personal disdain for the person you were investigating.”
STRZOK: “I did not.”
GOODLATTE: “Yet others did require that ultimately.”
STRZOK: “Sir, I would not characterize those decisions as subject to the same set of considerations.”
GOODLATTE: “You don’t think that it was the bias expressed in your text messages that caused Mr. Mueller to remove you from the investigation?”
STRZOK: “I do not think that the — there were — that bias was expressed in those text messages. I cannot speak to why Director Mueller chose to remove me from the investigation, but I can tell you that those text messages are not indicative of bias.”
GOODLATTE: “Mr. Mueller never told you why you were being removed?”
STRZOK: “My recollection of the discussion was he mentioned the existence of the text messages and that based on that, he needed to ask me to return to the FBI.”
GOODLATTE: “Lots of people have text messages, Mr. Strzok.”
STRZOK: “Yes, sir. And my -- again, my impression, not stated by him, but my impression was that based on the appearance of those messages, and in part of a desire by him to avoid even the appearance of any potential bias, that he asked me to return, but that’s a question for him.”
GOODLATTE: “But he kept everyone else in the investigation."
STRZOK: “Sir, I don’t know the staffing decisions that were made by Director Mueller after I departed.”
GOODLATTE: “Including 13 Democrats.”
STRZOK: “Sir, I don’t know the affiliation of the people on his team.”
GOODLATTE: “So — but he was concerned enough about your texts to remove you but you never felt concerned enough to remove yourself.”
STRZOK: “That’s correct.”

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