Takeaways from FBI Agent's Explosive Congressional Hearing

Terry Joseph
July 14, 2018

This argument would nearly certainly fall apart before a judge, given the fact that the FBI Inspector General found no evidence that Peter Strzok's "political bias" affected the outcome of either the FBI's investigation into candidate Donald Trump or their investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton.

Strzok was grilled by members of Congress over allegations of apparent anti-Trump bias revealed in a series of text messages he exchanged with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.

At the center of suspicion surrounding him are a series of text messages he exchanged with his lover, former Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney Lisa Page.

That meant Justice Department investigators could access all their messages, including the ones in which they criticized Trump and appeared to discuss how they might use their powers to keep him from being elected.

FBI Director Chris Wray says employees who were singled out for criticism in the report have been referred to internal disciplinary officials. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-New Jersey, said, "I have never seen my colleagues so out of control, so angry".

The unsubstantiated accusations drew forceful objections from Democrats, including from Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, who called Gohmert's comments a "disgrace".

Strzok tried to respond, but Gohmert cut him off, insisting that he was not allowed to answer due to hearing rules that the witness could only respond if a representative asked a direct question.

Strzok had told Gowdy he was unable to answer a question related to the Russian Federation probe, saying he had been instructed not to comment on matters related to an ongoing investigation.

"The fact you would accuse me otherwise, the fact you would question whether or not that was the sort of look I would engage in with a family member who I have acknowledged hurting, goes more to a discussion about your character and what you stand for and what's going inside you", he said, before being interrupted. The messages in question showed an anti-Trump bias.

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"This investigation is not politically motivated", Strzok said. He said the late-night, off-the-cuff text reflected his belief that Americans would not stomach such "horrible, disgusting behavior" by the presidential candidate.

California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California took the step of asking Strzok to read his own text messages out loud at the hearing, including when he called Trump a "douche".

Strzok said he could not answer a question about the early stages of the FBI investigation into Russian intervention because the probe is still ongoing and FBI counsel had instructed him not to.

"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text.

"This has been an attack on you and a way to attack Mr. [Robert] Mueller and the investigation that is to get at Russian conclusion involved in our election, which is what this committee should be looking at", Cohen said of Republican attacks on Strzok.

"I think Peter Strzok did not come across particularly well, kind of priggish and to me kind of snooty and indignant".

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.

Page is testifying to congressional lawmakers in a closed-door session on Friday. Tuesday that she would have access to the documents she needed for Wednesday's interview. At one point, Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California chimed in, saying, "This is a stupid and ridiculous hearing". "You had the angry Republicans who didn't make the case that bias tainted the [Robert Mueller] probe, the high-dudgeon Democrats who have contempt for the other side".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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