'FBI lover' agent rejects Trump bias charges in stormy hearing

Peter Strzok the FBI agent facing criticism following a series of anti Trump text messages walks to gives a deposition before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington

But Republicans charged that Strzok's texts were evidence that he was biased to clear Clinton and go after Donald Trump, grilling him about the messages he exchanged with then-FBI agent Lisa Page that led to his dismissal from special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

When Strzok declined to answer some questions on the Russian Federation probe, Goodlatte suggested Republicans might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected and Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed.

Democrats immediately challenged Goodlatte, accusing him of treating Strzok unfairly and seeking unsuccessfully to adjourn the hearing.

Peter Strzok (struhk) testified publicly Tuesday for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team following the discovery of the texts previous year.

"If we have a problem with this policy, we should take it up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not badger Mr. Strzok". The committees ultimately voted to table the motion at the end of hearing.

"As House Judiciary Republicans spend half the day or longer publicly flogging Peter Strzok", wrote Wheeler, "know that all that flogging can not change the fact that key evidence in Mueller's possession, evidence which I suspect implicates the president directly, has absolutely no tie to Peter Strzok at all". I said I'm, I'm just troubled that this issue, meaning the, the NY agent issue and leaks, I am just troubled that this issue has put us where we are today with respect to this laptop.

Strzok did not respond to Gohmert's outburst about the affair with Page.

Page's lawyer claimed she "will cooperate with this investigation" even as Page defied the subpoena to appear on Wednesday before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform Committees. "If I were permitted to answer, I would".

Thursday's marathon hearing was carried live for most of the day on all three cable news networks.

He said that his text messages critical of Trump shortly after the investigation began were in response to Trump's behavior on the campaign trail - and not a reflection of his investigative intent.

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"I did think it was quite odd that you had the one Congressman on the Democratic side said he wanted to give Peter Strzok a Purple Heart which is outrageous". Strzok said he was not alone in holding political opinions, noting that colleagues in 2016 supported both Clinton and Trump but did not reflect those views on the job.

Strzok again stated he could not answer and Goodlatte said the Committee would consider a contempt citation.

"Because, while it's certainly possible that Mr. Giuliani is exaggerating or engaging in some sort of puffery, the reality is that also given the things that were going on, given timing that the laptop was there and he was talking about that in the context of a big surprise, it caused me great concern that he had information about that - that he should not have had", Strzok said.

"I don't know if you're saying this experience is like being at the dentist", he said, drawing murmurs from the crowd.

"This demand puts Mr. Strzok in an impossible position", Nadler said.

Strzok had spent 11 hours being roasted by the same solons in a closed-door session last month. Special counsel Robert Mueller removed him from the investigation after it came to light he had sent text messages to Page insulting Trump and praising Clinton.

Gowdy blasted Strzok for saying in messages to Page that Trump was a "menace" who he would "stop", while the investigation was still in its infancy.

The DOJ IG report, however, concluded it could not find evidence of "political bias" toward Trump.

Page will appear for the interview on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

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