An embattled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent whose anti-Trump text messages exposed the Justice Department to claims of institutional bias launched a vigorous defence Thursday at an extraordinary congressional hearing that devolved into shouting matches, finger pointing and veiled references to sexual transgressions. Strzok steadfastly maintained that he exhibited no bias in his capacities as a top FBI investigator.
"Under oath, as I spoke also during my interview to you a week or two ago, I have always told the truth", Strzok began.
Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI counterintelligence official deeply involved in the Russian Federation investigation of Trump's campaign, insisted he was impartial despite his controversial August 2016 text exchange with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was then having an affair.
One particular moment from Peter Strzok's raucous congressional hearing left Twitter users confounded and disturbed, even prompting Donald Trump Jr to label the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent "the creepiest person in America". "What does Trump support smell like Mister Strzok?"
But while reinforcing his dislike for Trump, Strzok repeated several times that he did not believe that the messages showed bias, to the frustration and disbelief of Republicans.
It is possible that the Federal Bureau of Investigation does not want Republicans to have information could be because at least one congressional candidate allegedly asked Russians for stolen documents during the 2016 election. Rep. Louie Gohmert pressed Strzok over objections by Democrats.
"Those Democrats trying to protect that liar Strzok today should be ashamed of themselves", Giuliani said.
"I don't think you'll have any, 'Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me".
In one text, Strzok said "we'll stop" Trump in the midst of the 2016 presidential election.
"You need to understand that that was written late at night, off the cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and my presumption based on that frightful, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be President of the United States". "So, I take great offense, and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn't".
Houston Rockets Determined To Sign Carmelo Anthony
The Houston Rockets re-signed free-agent swingman Gerald Green to a one-year, $2.4 million contract. The Lakers also have been mentioned as a possibility but reportedly have not met with Anthony.
"It's much more sedate, much more calm", said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat. "That is who we are as the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
"I've talked to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents around the country", Gohmert continued, visibly upset. "It simply couldn't happen". "I never thought literally it should be given to Agent Strzok", Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee told CNN's Ana Cabrera. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) shouted at Gohmert after his remarks. He was removed from the Russian Federation investigation a year ago after the texts were discovered.
The last part of comment, referencing the extramarital affair between Strzok and Page, prompted jeers from others on the committee, including one person who could be heard saying, "This is outrageous".
"I can't help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page?".
The room erupted into cries of anger and disbelief.
"There is the disgrace", Gohmert said. Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed without calling the panel into recess.
He said he was one of the few people in 2016 who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with the Trump campaign, and that that information could have derailed Trump's election chances.
FBI Director Chris Wray says employees who were singled out for criticism in the report have been referred to internal disciplinary officials. Outgoing Congressman Trey Gowdy brought up that text and another in which Strzok said Hillary Clinton should win "100 million to zero".