At FBI Agent's Hearing, Congressman Shades Republicans Who Also Criticized Trump

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Strzok worked on both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and on special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign, until he was removed from Mueller's team previous year.

In his opening remarks, Strzok defended Mueller's work and emphasized the threat of Russian election interference, clearly referencing the president in saying, "This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax". His lawyer has argued that the public hearing is an attempt by Republicans to "trap" Strzok, and they have urged the committee's Republicans to release the transcript of his closed-door interview.

Mueller reassigned Strzok after the Justice Department discovered highly political text messages that he sent Page during the 2016 election cycle. This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump.

"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.

The hearing immediately got off to a contentious start Thursday, with Republicans slamming Strzok and Democrats warning their colleagues not to interfere with Mueller's investigation. But then it kept that investigation completely secret from the public, lest news of it affect the outcome of the investigation in any way.

"A bias-free investigation is not a Republican or Democrat issue - it's an American issue", he said. Strzok said, but was cut off by Gowdy. Strzok said he could not answer any questions about the ongoing investigation based on advice from the FBI's general counsel.

"Like many people, I had and expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election", Strzok said. "At times my criticism was blunt, but despite how it has been characterized it was not limited to one person or one party". That document was allegedly used to secure a spy warrant against former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page; a piece of partisan opposition campaign research was used to secure a FISA warrant?

"I don't agree with your characterization of my views as biased", the lover insisted to one Republican accuser.

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So today we saw, for instance, Rep. Trey Gowdy badgering Strzok about the meaning of individual words in his late-night text messages to his girlfriend, using Gowdy's patented prosecutorial technique of shouting a question at a witness, and then when the witness begins to answer, interrupting and shouting a different question at a louder volume.

Nadler eventually was allowed to speak by stating a point of order.

Gohmert fired back, pointing at Strzok.

You need to understand that was written late at night, off the cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and my presumption based on that frightful, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States.

"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took", he is expected to say.

Trump's supporters in Congress have accused Strzok and Page of steering the Clinton probe away from criminal charges and pushing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to aggressively investigate Trump advisers through electronic surveillance and confidential informants.

"They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them", he went on.

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