President accuses FBI agent of treason
President Donald Trump has accused an FBI agent who was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team of treason.
Trump made the comment in an interview Thursday with The Wall Street Journal.
He was referring to Peter Strzok, an FBI agent who had been assigned to work on Mueller’s team investigating potential ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. Strzok was removed last summer after the discovery of anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with an FBI lawyer who was also assigned to the team.
Treason is defined in law as aiding an enemy of the United States.
Aitan Goelman, a lawyer for Strzok, says Trump’s allegation is “beyond reckless.”
“It should surprise no one that the President has both the facts and the law wrong,” he said.
The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee says he wants to interview the president’s daughter as part of the panel’s Russia investigation, along with other witnesses who Republicans aren’t inviting.
Rep. Adam Schiff said Thursday that Republicans have declined to invite many witnesses that would be valuable to the probe, including Ivanka Trump and several people who he says have additional information about a June 2016 meeting between Russians and the Trump campaign.
“There are witnesses who have knowledge of the Trump Tower meeting and what it was about prior to the meeting that have not been brought before our committee,” Schiff told reporters.
At the Trump Tower meeting, several Trump campaign officials met with Russian operatives under the impression that they might receive damaging information about the Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton. The meeting has captured the interest of congressional investigators and special counsel Mueller.
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Ivanka Trump talked to at least two of the meeting’s participants on the way out.
“I think that if there’s credible information that Ivanka Trump had contact with any participants in that meeting, at the time of the meeting, that she should be brought in,” Schiff said. “She may have more valuable insights on a variety of other issues as well.”
Schiff said the committee has interviewed 56 witnesses, less than half of the number of witnesses the Senate intelligence committee has interviewed in its own investigation into Russian interference and whether the Trump campaign was involved. The House interviews are done by lawmakers and often run for much of the day. The Senate panel’s interviews are done by staff.
He laid the blame on House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif, who stepped aside from the probe for several months while the House Ethics Committee investigated whether Nunes had at one point divulged classified information.