Anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok was given a limited security clearance ahead of his testimony before Congress on Thursday, a Justice Department official tells The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The official disclosed Strzok’s security clearance status after Strzok claimed during a joint hearing on Thursday that he has a top secret security clearance.
“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. (RELATED: Sessions Claims That Peter Strzok Lost Security Clearance)
The statement appeared to be a contradiction to a claim that Attorney General Jeff Sessions made during an interview in June.
“Mr. Strzok, as I understand, has lost his security clearance,” Sessions told conservative radio host Howie Carr on June 21.
But a DOJ official told TheDCNF that “Strzok was given a limited clearance in prep for today’s hearing which will end when this is over.”
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.
This article has been updated with commentary from a Justice Department official.