Moments From Peter Strzok's Testimony That You Must See

FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee

In addition to his involvement in the Trump-Russia investigation from its early stages, Mr Strzok was also a key figure in the FBI review of Hillary Clinton's handling of classified material on her personal email server while she was secretary of state.

This included questions about the text messages he exchanged with FBI attorney Lisa Page that raised concerns of political bias in the investigations of Hillary Clinton's emails and Trump campaign ties to Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement Wednesday knocking the questions Republicans had asked of Strzok in the closed session, including queries on his extramarital affair with Page and his vote in 2016. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, interjected, threatening Strzok with a contempt citation if he did not answer the question. "This decision is long overdue". In breaking his months-long silence, Strzok vigorously defended his handling of two hugely sensitive investigations in which he played a leading role: inquiries into Hillary Clinton's email use and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Conservatives proceeded to cast one of those text messages as the smoking gun in its case against Strzok in particular, and the FBI investigation into Trump, in general: In response to a message from Page expressing horror at the thought of Trump's election, Strzok replied, "We'll stop it". "At every step, at every investigative decision, there are multiple layers of people above me, the assistant director, executive assistant director, deputy director and Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and multiple layers of people below me, section chiefs, supervisors, unit chiefs, case agents and analysts, all of whom were involved in all of these decisions".

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.

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Strzok repeatedly refused to answer, citing the FBI's counsel's instructions not to answer questions related to the special counsel investigation.

Instead of probing this matter, however, the GOP-led Congress is fulminating over a transparently absurd theory about the non-existent impact of anti-Trump bias in the agency.

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.

As Gohmert went through his speaking time at a hearing on Thursday with the agent accused of anti-Trump bias, the Texas Republican sparred with another lawmaker, who called his statements a "disgrace".

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

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You don't have to like Peter Strzok, or James Comey, or Robert Mueller, or anyone else involved in these various investigations.

Strzok, who is testifying on Capitol Hill under subpoena, was faced with several heated exchanges during the day's questioning.

At one point, Strzok said he didn't appreciate an assertion from Gowdy, who retorted, "I don't give a damn what you appreciate". 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.

Strzok also clearly points out that the FBI's attorneys have told him to stay away from revealing any information about current investigations.

Page will appear for the interview on Friday at 1:30 p.m.

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