Wild scenes at Russia-probe hearing as Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and Republicans clash


Buller Gohmert5 takeaways from wild hearing with controversial FBI agent GOP lawmaker asks FBI agent about lying to wife over affair Live coverage: FBI agent defends anti-Trump texts in tense hearing MORE (R-Texas) questioned a witness on his extramarital affair earlier in the day.

Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI counterintelligence official deeply involved in the Russian Federation investigation of Trump's campaign, insisted he was impartial despite his controversial August 2016 text exchange with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was then having an affair.

In the prepared remarks, Strzok acknowledges that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it was not directed at one person or political party, and included jabs not only at Trump, but also at Clinton as well as Sen. "When I see you looking with a little smirk, I wonder how many times did you look so innocently into your wife's eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page", Gohmert began.

"Do you need your medication?" a woman in the hearing shouted.

The unsubstantiated accusations drew forceful objections from Democrats, including from Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, who called Gohmert's comments a "disgrace".

The committee's ranking member, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), told reporters as he headed into the meeting with Page on Friday that he expected her to get numerous same questions as Strzok.

"If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would".

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When Strzok declined to answer some questions on the Russian Federation probe, Goodlatte suggested Republicans might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected and Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed.

But while reinforcing his dislike for Trump, Strzok repeated several times that he did not believe that the messages showed bias, to the frustration and disbelief of Republicans.

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 U.S. service member.

And yet some analysts couldn't help but notice a hint of irony in Republicans' argument that Strzok's personal views must have influenced his official duty, while they simultaneously conduct investigations into politicians they openly support or oppose.

On Thursday, Strzok said the message was written late at night after Trump's campaign comments disparaging a slain USA soldier.

"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", the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said during the contentious hearing in Congress. "We'll stop it", Strzok responded.

Goodlatte suggested that Republicans could open a new avenue to investigate Strzok, noting that the text messages on his personal phone have not been turned over and suggesting similar messages might be found. Strzok responded that he won't provide his personal texts.

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"Russian interference in our elections constitutes a grave attack on our democracy", Peter Strzok told lawmakers in his prepared opening statement.

"I know they're having a lot of problems and their economy is collapsing".

"Now call upon the majority to release that transcript in full today", Nadler said.

Her lawyer said Page had not been allowed to review documents she needed to prepare.

"Lisa Page has finally agreed to appear before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees for a transcribed interview tomorrow", Goodlatte said in a statement. At one point, Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu of California chimed in, saying, "This is a stupid and ridiculous hearing".

"To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, please replace President Trump's name with your own name in a small sample of things Mr. Strzok has said", he said.

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