Angry words exchanged in congressional hearing on FBI investigation


Louie Gohmert made his questioning of Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok personal Thursday when he brought up Strzok's extramarital affair.

"I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart", Strzok said.

"It's just an outrage that people in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FBI that I spent most of my adult life and loved what we did for the American people, you know, can promote somebody with all these character flaws to such a high position", he said.

An FBI agent who criticized Donald Trump in text messages during the 2016 campaign vigorously defended himself at a raucous congressional hearing on Thursday that highlighted the deep divisions over a probe of Russian election meddling that has clouded Trump's presidency.

While many join President Trump in demanding answers to Strzok and Page attempting to "stop" Trump, Cohen only sees the hearing as an attack on Strzok and the Russian investigation.

Toward the end of his time, Gohmert criticized Strzok, saying he had spoken to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about Strzok's conduct. Stzrok wasn't "contrite" about his texts, which do show bias against Trump, but House Republicans promised to uncover facts, he said, and in 10 hours, "no proof was offered that Strzok did something acting on bias".

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In one text, Page asked Strzok if Trump was going to be president.

Strzok replied that he won't.

Strzok said under aggressive questioning that a much-discussed August 2016 text in which he vowed "we'll stop" a Trump candidacy followed Trump's denigration of the family of a dead USA service member.

There were more than 75 lawmakers present at some point during the hearing - almost a fifth of the House.

Republicans yelled at Strzok and pointed fingers at him, making it clear they did not believe him. "That is bias." Republican Rep. Darrell Issa made Strzok read some of his texts aloud, including some with profane language.

Strzok was testifying before a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, where he defended himself against claims he allowed his personal biases to affect his investigation into alleged ties between President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign and Russian Federation. He also said he had never contemplated leaking damaging information he knew about the Trump campaign. Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed without calling the panel into recess. Page is expected to speak to lawmakers at a private meeting Friday.