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Rep. Mark Walker: Strzok's Texts to Mistress Were Despicable in Nature
14 July 2018, 02:05 | Brenda Erickson
Former FBI agent Peter Strzok to lawmakers: Anti-Trump texts didn’t “impact any official action”
A joint House hearing to question an FBI agent who worked on investigations involving both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton quickly devolved into chaos as Republicans demanded he answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation.
But in defending himself and his agency, Strzok had to weather hours of attacks by Republicans, whose accusations drifted from personal animus toward President Donald Trump to blatant lying and moral misconduct with a senior Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer, Lisa Page.
In August 2016, Strzok responded to a message from Page about Trump's chance of being elected president.
Gowdy pressed Strzok on the texts during the back-and-forth, at one point telling the FBI agent that it's "no wonder Bob Mueller kicked you off the investigation".
"Do you need your medication?" a woman in the hearing shouted.
"This is about promoting a narrative, you're a prop", said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I. He told Gohmert the fact that he would say that to him "shows more what you stand for" than anything else. Meanwhile, Republicans held him up as a symbol of an agency overrun by anti-Trump bias. "I think not", Goodlatte said.
Strzok said under aggressive questioning that a much-discussed August 2016 text in which he vowed "we'll stop" a Trump candidacy followed Trump's denigration of the family of a dead USA service member. In it, Strzok describes his reluctance to work on behalf of the special counsel, and that seemed to imply he didn't think there would be substantial findings of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign team. He said the text, written late at night and off-the-cuff, reflected his belief that Americans would not stomach such "horrible, disgusting behaviour" by the presidential candidate.
In a chaotic hearing that spanned 10 hours, he insisted he never allowed personal opinions to affect his work, though he did acknowledge being dismayed by Donald Trump's behavior during the campaign.
"Congressman, I have to say that I was looking forward to this".
Goodlatte suggested that Republicans could open a new avenue to investigate Strzok, noting that the text messages on his personal phone have not been turned over and suggesting similar messages might be found. Strzok responded that he won't provide his personal texts.
Mr Strzok's case has been used by the president and many Republicans to discredit Mueller's investigation on alleged ties between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin.
Page's appearance follows Strzok's explosive public hearing appearance on Thursday, where he tangled openly with Republican lawmakers.
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