February 19, 2019

Trey Gowdy vs. Peter Strzok: 15 minutes of fiery exchanges

12 July 2018, 10:10 | Devin Moran

FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee

FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee

The longtime FBI agent helped lead both the Trump campaign and Clinton email investigations at various points in 2016 and was later part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

Robert Mueller is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the Trump campaign's possible involvement. Considering Democrats agree with his motivations, not to mention the way he classified Trump voters as uneducated, smelly and bigoted in text messages to his mistress, the cheers aren't surprising.

The hearing initially began with a wild scene in which Goodlatte and other Republicans, including Representative Trey Gowdy of SC, attempted to compel Strzok to answer questions about the ongoing Russian Federation probe.

"I don't recall writing that text", Strzok added later, with Gowdy talking over him.

"Well it wasn't the discovery of your texts Mr. Strzok, it was the existence of your bias that got you kicked off", Gowdy stated.

She explained that he initially said he didn't remember the text, but then later said it was written late at night and had to be taken in the context that it was sent about a week after then-candidate Trump made what Strzok believed were disparaging statements about a Gold Star family.

He insisted under aggressive questioning that an August 2016 text in which he said "We'll stop" a Trump presidency followed Trump's denigration of the family of a dead USA service member.

"I think it was embarrassing that the Democrats were trying to be cheerleaders for agent Strzok - trying to cover for him", Scalise said on Fox News's "The Daily Briefing".

Trump - who mocks Page and Strzok as the "FBI lovers" - blasted Page's decision not to appear Thursday in a tweet, lamenting the "corruption on the other side" and again calling out Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do something about it.

Strzok replied that he was not under subpoena, but testifying voluntarily - and that he could not answer questions "related to the ongoing investigations being undertaken by the special counsel's office".

"And my presumption, based on that frightful, disgusting behavior, was that [Americans] would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States", he continued. "So I take great offense and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn't".

"You have not stated a valid, legal basis for not responding to a question directed to you by a member of the United States House of Representatives", the chairman said, threatening to hold Strzok in contempt. "I want to know what "it" meant, Agent Strzok", Gowdy said. He described the texts as "hate filled and biased".

Trump criticized the two again ahead of the House hearing in a Twitter post from his trip to Europe.

Strzok is attending the public hearing after he was also subpoenaed last week.

In an interview with investigators with the Justice Department's Inspector General, Page said she was "totally appalled that the President would insult the father of a dead service member". But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision to not pursue criminal charges against Clinton.

Stzok appeared under subpoena on Thursday before a joint session of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, where he was grilled by Republicans on inflammatory text messages he exchanged with a fellow Federal Bureau of Investigation official in 2016 that were critical of then-candidate Donald Trump.

Strzok appeared before lawmakers in Congress last month for a closed-door interview.

Representative Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, led the combined session with House Oversight.

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