Anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok told Congress on Thursday that he still has a top-secret security clearance, in contradiction with a claim made in June by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
“You currently have what classification?” Strzok was asked by Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins during a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees.
“I have a top-secret clearance with some SCI compartments,” replied Strzok, the former deputy director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division. “SCI” is an acronym for highly classified materials known as Sensitive Compartmented Information.
Strzok’s statement is a surprise of sorts given comments that Sessions made during a June 21 interview with conservative radio host Howie Carr.
“Mr. Strzok, as I understand, has lost his security clearance,” Sessions said.
Strzok was escorted out of FBI headquarters on June 15, a day after the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General referred him to the FBI for a disciplinary review over his Trump text messages.
Strzok was the FBI’s top investigator on the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. During that time, he spoke critically of Trump, calling the Republican an “idiot” and mocking his supporters.
He was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in July 2017 after the discovery of his text exchanges. He currently works in the FBI’s human resources division.
The DOJ did not respond to a request for comment on the discrepancy between Strzok and Sessions’s statements.
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