Controversial FBI official to testify about private text messages on Trump

FBI official Peter Strzok on Thursday said in sworn testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that the salacious Trump-Russia dossier is not why the FBI launched its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States presidential election.

That led to today's hearing, called by the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee, in which several Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were questioned regarding their conduct.

As soon as the questions got underway, the hearing devolved into a partisan verbal brawl as House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte struggled to maintain control of the crowded hearing room, which contained more than 70 members between the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees.

During his opening statement, House Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland asserted that Republicans were trying to shut down a fruitful investigation.

The incident was one of several occasions throughout the hours-long hearing that Strzok faced personal attacks from Republicans including Gohmert, as well as Jim Jordan of Ohio, Trey Gowdy of SC and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia.


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.

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". But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton.

Strzok, who helped lead investigations of Hillary Clinton's emails and ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign, will testify publicly Thursday before Congress after previously testifying before lawmakers in a closed session.

"A direct strike at democracy and what this country is about with free and fair elections".

Strzok repeatedly refused to answer, citing the FBI's counsel's instructions not to answer questions related to the special counsel investigation. "Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him".


In one 2016 text exchange, Page wrote: "He's not ever going to become president, right?"

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

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

"Let me be clear", Strzok told more than three dozen members of Congress, as if his online activity hadn't been clear enough.

Strzok, who is testifying on Capitol Hill under subpoena, was faced with several heated exchanges during the day's questioning. While Republicans badgered Strzok and tried to catch him off-guard, Democrats mostly used their time to argue for the importance of the Mueller investigation. Strzok said he could not answer any questions about the ongoing investigation based on advice from the FBI's general counsel. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind. And FBI Counsel has instructed him not to answer the question. Goodlatte stressed that it was the committee's practice and that there was an agreement to keep closed-door hearings private while an investigation is ongoing.


Jeffress accused the panels of using unnecessary "bullying tactics" to push Page into an interview immediately, especially when "she has offered to voluntarily appear before the committees later this month". It also requires nude public performances to end at twelve o'clock midnight.

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