Rep. Jim Jordan sharply questioned the FBI counterintelligence agent whose texts criticizing then-candidate Donald Trump garnered national attention on Thursday – one firework in an explosive hours-long hearing over the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential race and political bias at the FBI.
Jordan, an Urbana Republican, pressed Strzok about what he knew about a dossier on Trump’s links to Russia compiled by a former British spy. Strzok, however, had been advised by the FBI not to answer questions about the investigation lest it undermine the investigation. The exchange occurred during an hours-long hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform and House Judiciary Committees.
Jordan grilled Strzok on an email he sent to other FBI officials about the dossier, asking repeatedly the identities of two names mentioned in the email – “Corn and Simpson” – possibly Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS, which hired the ex-British spy to compile the dossier and David Corn, the Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones magazine, which has reported on the dossier.
Strzok confirmed that he sent the email, but refused to identify the duo, irritating Jordan.
“You wrote about it!” Jordan said. “It’s now public! Who’s Corn? Who‘s Simpson?”
Strzrok replied that he would “love to answer that question” but was barred from doing so.
But the exchange – with Jordan frequently interrupting Strzok – outraged Democrats, who could be overheard urging Jordan to “stop interrupting him” and telling the committee chairs to “tell him to stop badgering” Strzok.
Jordan, recently the subject of accusations that he knew of sexual abuse on the Ohio State wrestling team two decades ago but did not report it – said he was frustrated that Strzok would not answer the questions.
“This is unbelievable,” he said. “But that’s where it’s gotten to now and it’s as frustrating as it can get.”