Published: Sat, July 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Ex-GOP lawmaker: Strzok hearing 'was a humiliating day' for Republicans

Ex-GOP lawmaker: Strzok hearing 'was a humiliating day' for Republicans

An embattled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent whose anti-Trump text messages exposed the Justice Department to claims of institutional bias launched a vigorous defense Thursday at an extraordinary congressional hearing that devolved into shouting matches, finger pointing and veiled references to personal transgressions.

In an interview after his explosive performance questioning Peter Strzok Thursday, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) made astounding claims against former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Fox News.

Rep. Gohmert went after FBI agent Peter Strzok for cheating on his wife throughout the investigations into Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. "And I've talked to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents around the country".

"I don't give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok", Mr. Gowdy said.

Once special counsel Robert Mueller found out about his text messages he fired him from the Russian Federation investigation.

Those remarks resulted in further interjections from Democrats, who said Gohmert was harassing Strzok and impugning the agent's character.

Gohmert said impassionedly as Democrats on the committee yelled, "Mister Chairman, this is outrageous!" and a female member yelled, "You need your medication".

Strzok was caught having an affair with former agent Lisa Page, and text messages between them revealed a strong anti-Trump sentiment.

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Strzok struck a combative tone throughout the hearing, telling congressmen, "Today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart". In it, Strzok describes his reluctance to work on behalf of the special counsel, and that seemed to imply he didn't think there would be substantial findings of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign team. "It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate".

During the daylong meeting, Strzok sparred with Republicans, who lashed out at him in often sharply personal exchanges. "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".

Strzok replied, "No, Mr. Gowdy, it wasn't".

The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety.

It is point that has been largely brushed aside in Trump-friendly media circles, with a text Strzok sent to Page in May 2017 also receiving comparatively little scrutiny.

Strzok sought to clear the air over his messages and volunteered to testify after the Justice Department inspector general, Michael Horowitz, released a report in June revealing how senior Federal Bureau of Investigation officials repeatedly expressed support for Clinton and disdain for Trump during the election.

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

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