Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok, Republicans clash in fiery House hearing
14 July, 2018, 02:05 | Author: Jacqueline Daniels
Questioned by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, Strzok became the first FBI or Department of Justice official to admit that Bruce Ohr, whose wife Nellie Ohr was hired by Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research against then-candidate Donald Trump, supplied the FBI with documents related to the Russian Federation counterintelligence investigation.
However, House Republicans, capitalizing on the text messages in an effort to discredit Mueller's investigation, said they didn't believe Strzok.
In his opening statement, Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it wasn't directed at one person or party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen.
Kallstrom said Strzok is a lot like Comey because the two Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are driven by egotistic and narcissistic behaviors that are detrimental to the agency.
The hearing dissolved into chaos after Gohmert asked, "How manytimes did you look so innocently into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?". Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-New Jersey, said, "I have never seen my colleagues so out of control, so angry".
Unfortunately, due to the apparent angle of the broadcast Krassenstein was viewing, as well as an unfamiliarity with members of Congress, he misidentified Gohmert as Lynch, a Massachusetts Democrat, who made sure to set the record straight.
Strzok responded to Gohmert's questioning and attacks by saying he "always told the truth".
At one point, Strzok said he didn't appreciate an assertion from Gowdy, who retorted, "I don't give a damn what you appreciate".
The partisan fighting began from the very first question of the day, which prompted Goodlatte to threaten holding Strzok in contempt amid Democratic protests over whether Strzok could answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation. "I think not", Goodlatte said.
In one exchange, Ms. Page, who also worked on both investigations, said to Mr. Strzok that Trump is "not ever going to become president, right?"
"This investigation is not politically motivated", Strzok said.
On Thursday, Strzok said the message was written late at night after Trump's campaign comments disparaging a slain US soldier.
In his most direct defense of the controversial texts, Strzok said he had written them "off-the-cuff" and that it was important to view them in the context of the heated election in 2016, during which Trump engaged in numerous outrageous, racially-charged feuds - including with the family of Muslim U.S. Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.
"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took", he is expected to say. "I clearly wasn't smelling one thing or the other", Strzok responded.
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"I am certain that Congress will have the opportunity to look at any investigation once it is closed", he said.
For a brief moment, lawmakers floated the idea of Strzok having some company when he appears Thursday - as the committee offered Page a spot to testify at Thursday's hearing.
After defying a congressional subpoena Wednesday, Page has agreed to meet with congressmen in closed-door sessions Friday and again on Monday.
Her lawyer said Page had not been allowed to review documents she needed to prepare.
"This investigation is a political charade - a platform to elevate far-right conspiracy theories and undermine the special counsel's ongoing criminal investigation of the President and his campaign aides", Nadler and Cummings said in that statement.
During the marathon hearing, Democrats staunchly defended Strzok.
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