On July 12, former Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI Peter Strzok testified before 70 members of a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on his actions as the chief of the bureau’s counter-intelligence division during the 2016 presidential election. Strzok’s text messages, in which he criticized Trump, were fodder for the Republicans who used the occasion to push their various unfounded conspiracy theories. Strzok’s marriage issues, political leanings, and ethics were brought into question by Republicans who have no business accusing others of improprieties.
The Republicans who took shots at Strzok represent a cavalcade of miscreants, misfits, perverts, and criminals, starting with House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), who is retiring at the end of the current term.
Goodlatte should actually be called the “Congressman from the Koch Brothers.” Tim Philipps, the president of the Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Foundation, served as Goodlatte’s campaign manager for his first run for Congress in 1992 and, subsequently, as his chief of staff for four years. Goodlatte’s ties to the billionaire Kochs may explain why he has maintained, in addition to his congressional district home in Roanoke, a house in Arlington, Virginia. Goodlatte’s Arlington house reportedly has a 24×7 security guard presence, something that is unusual for a U.S. senator maintaining a residence in the DC metro area.
Goodlatte is owned and operated by the wind and natural gas fracking industries. Goodlatte and his wife, Roanoke attorney Maryellen Goodlatte, have raked in a ton of money from the wind and natural gas industries. In fact, the website of Maryellen Goodlatte’s law firm, Glenn, Feldmann, Darby & Goodlatte, lists her as a director of RGC Resources, Inc., a Roanoke gas company pushing for fracking in Goodlatte’s 6th District.
Goodlatte’s record on veterans is abysmal. Born in 1952, Goodlatte was certainly in zone for the draft but he has no record of military service. In 1970, Goodlatte enrolled in Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, while the draft was in effect. He has not publicly spoken about his draft status or any deferments he received from the Selective Service.
Another of Strzok’s inquisitors was Matt Gaetz (R-FL). Gaetz’s championing of the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has resulted in his receiving Trump’s endorsement in his primary race against Republican challenger Cris Dosev in the Florida 1st District. After Gaetz’s hammering of Strzok, Trump tweeted from Britain, “Congressman Matt Gaetz is one of the finest and most talented people in Congress.” It isn’t known whether the “talent” to which Trump referred includes Gaetz’s drunken homosexual escapades while a student at Florida State University and several post-graduate arrests for driving while intoxicated.
Gaetz’s roommate at Florida State University was reportedly found dead under suspicious circumstances while they were undergraduate students. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the death as a possible homicide but the agency was later politically-pressured to rule it a suicide. Gaetz’s father, Don Gaetz, is a powerful GOP state senator in Tallahassee. As with Gaetz’s multiple DWIs, the suspicious death of his college roommate was buried by Florida authorities and the university.
Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), facing charges that while he was the assistant coach of the Ohio State University’s wrestling team, he engaged in a Penn State-level cover-up of sexual abuse by the university’s sports physician, also tried to disparage Strzok’s professionalism. Eight former members of Jordan’s wrestling team, as well as former head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson, have come forward in stating that Jordan was well aware of the sexual abuse committed by the late Dr. Richard Strauss on members of the wrestling team and that he failed to inform university officials. Jordan is also balking at cooperating with a university investigation of the charges. As with all Republican sex perverts, including Jordan, Gaetz, and failed Alabama GOP Senate candidate and accused pedophile Roy Moore, Trump jumped at the chance to support them after allegations of improper behavior were raised.
Texas Representative Louis Gohmert, who makes any of the country rube characters on Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies seem like geniuses by comparison, brought up Strzok’s marriage problems, which resulted in Representative Connie Watson-Coleman (D-NJ) shouting out, “You need your medication!” Another member, reprising the rhetorical flourishes of the Senate McCarthy hearings of the 1950s, bellowed, “Have you no decency?” Gohmert once accused Attorney General Eric Holder of “disparaging my asparagus,” during committee testimony. To this day, no one knows what Gohmert meant by his inane outburst.
Darrell Issa (R-CA), who, like Goodlatte is leaving Congress, also took the opportunity to question Strzok’s fitness and judgment. Issa has quite a criminal record. In 1972, he was arrested and indicted by a grand jury for the theft of a Maserati. Later that year, he was arrested for carrying a concealed weapon in his vehicle. In 1980, Issa was again indicted for grand theft auto. All the cases against Issa were eventually dropped but the not-so-insignificant arrest record remains. In 1982, Issa managed to beat an arson rap after his Cleveland area car alarm business caught fire, destroying the building and inventory. Three weeks earlier, Issa increased his fire insurance policy on his business by 462 percent. Arson investigators discovered “suspicious burn patterns” at two different fire initiation locations with the telltale signs of gasoline used as an accelerant.
Also taking an opportunity to bash Strzok was “Benghazi Boy” Trey Gowdy. During his long and tedious investigation of the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, Gowdy fired his staffer, Bradley Podliska, an Air Force Reserve officer. Podliska refused to cooperate in Gowdy’s partisan exercise to run roughshod over the State Department. Gowdy claimed that he fired Podliska for mishandling classified information, the same charge Gowdy was making against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Gowdy’s action against Podliska cost the U.S. taxpayers $150,000, the amount Gowdy had to agree to reimburse Podliska in an out-of-court settlement of the wrongful termination case.
The pattern for Trump-supporting Republicans in Congress is to “investigate the investigators.” The political “show trial” of Strzok fits Trump’s stock-in-trade and has been used to marginalize former FBI director James Comey, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and other members of the federal law enforcement establishment who are rapidly gathering the criminal goods on Trump.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).