Tuesday, 17 July, 2018

Peter Strzok hearing revealed one thing - Washington's partisan dysfunction

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok to lawmakers: Anti-Trump texts didn’t “impact any official action” Peter Strzok Hearing: Partisan Shouting Match Erupts as FBI Agent Threatened With Contempt
Deanna Wagner | 14 July, 2018, 01:06

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) reminded Strzok that it took him one day after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel into the investigation of President Trump's campaign and Russian officials before the FBI agent talked about impeachment proceedings.

Mr Strzok has been widely criticized for a text exchange he had during the electoral campaign with an Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer, who asked him if Mr Trump would be president, to which the agent responded: "No, he " s not.

Amid the sound and fury from the insufferable Democrats acting as obstructionists and cheerleaders during disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok's congressional testimony Thursday, an extremely important revelation was nearly lost in the noise. Finally, after months of waiting, Strzok got his chance to address that matter - and delivered a scorching monologue fit for the climax of an Aaron Sorkin script. "We'll stop it", Mr. Strzok replied.

Strzok said "based on that awful, disgusting behavior", he assumed Trump would not win the election.

"At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok told lawmakers.

The FBI agent went on to assail Republicans for corroding "what the FBI is in American society", and impairing its capacity to execute its mission.

Republican members of the committee were expected to grill Strzok for hours as they argue that the text messages with Lisa Page coloured the outcome of the Clinton email investigation and undercut the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian election interference.

Thursday's hearing, which was the first public appearance Strzok has made since he became a central figure in the Russian Federation investigation, underscored the deep tensions on Capitol Hill over the FBI's investigations connected to the 2016 election.

During the marathon hearing, Democrats staunchly defended Strzok.

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"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?" he asked.

Democrats responded with a call to bring back before the committee former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, who was not forced to answer certain questions.

The room erupted into cries of anger and disbelief.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) even questioned Strzok's character. Gohmert tried to shout over him and the committee chairman vainly tried to restore order.

Reps. Elijah E. Cummings and Jerrold Nadler, the top Democrats on the House oversight and judiciary committees, said under House rules the minority party is allowed to demand a witness of their own. Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed without calling the panel into recess.

Trump, who divorced his first wife to marry the woman with whom he was having an affair, is involved in a lawsuit with an adult-film star with whom he also reportedly had an affair around the time his third wife gave birth to his youngest child.

"But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".

Republicans, on the other hand, peppered Strzok with questions and expressed outrage that's been building for months.