Federal Bureau of Investigation agent defiantly rejects bias charges at chaotic 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. Strzok whose anti-Trump

Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled Strzok as they argued that text messages he exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page colored the outcome of the Clinton investigation and undercut the ongoing Russian Federation probe.

Committee members sought to question Strzok about the texts and to determine how, if at all, his anti-Trump bias impacted the investigations.

"If you can't control yourself", Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman charged Gowdy, "how do you expect this committee to control itself?" Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., asked the audience to imagine being investigated by someone who "hated" you and "made crucial investigative decisions on how your case should be treated and eventually adjudicated".

"Would anyone sitting here today believe that this was an acceptable state of affairs, particularly at an agency whose motto is 'fidelity, bravery, and integrity?' I think not".

Rep. Gohmert went after FBI agent Peter Strzok for cheating on his wife throughout the investigations into Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

During the course of their affair, they texted about their disdain of Trump and, at times, his supporters on their FBI-issued phones.

Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it was not directed at one person or political party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen. "There is simply no evidence of bias in my official actions".

"The suggestion that I and some dark chamber somewhere in the Federal Bureau of Investigation would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards and somehow be able to do this, is astounding to me", said Strzok. "We don't want to read text message after text message dripping with bias against one of the two presidential candidates".

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"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.

"Do you need your medication?" a woman in the hearing shouted. "As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in". (The investigation was handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller in mid-2017.) Republicans quickly objected and threatened to hold Strzok in contempt. Democrats noted that it was unusual that Strzok be asked to disclose such details in a public setting.

Page was subpoenaed to appear for a closed-door interview on Wednesday but defied the subpoena, saying she had not been given sufficient time to review the materials related to her testimony.

For much of Thursday, the hearing has been a disaster - for the GOP.

Democrats have said the investigation is an attempt to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation.

Strzok insisted under aggressive questioning that a much-discussed August 2016 text in which he said "we'll stop" a Trump presidency followed Trump's denigration of the family of a dead USA service member. "We'll stop it", Strzok told her.

But he said that he couldn't recall if he had interviewed any witnesses before texting Ms. Page that the president should be impeached.

Trump - who mocks Page and Strzok as the "FBI lovers" - blasted Page's decision not to appear Thursday in a tweet, lamenting the "corruption on the other side" and again calling out Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do something about it. Strzok, a seasoned counterintelligence agent, helped lead both investigations but has since been reassigned to human resources.

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