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FBI Agent Peter Strzok Faces Off with Lawmakers in Contentious Hearing

FBI Agent Peter Strzok Faces Off with Lawmakers in Contentious Hearing

The embattled FBI agent who oversaw the opening of the Russian Federation investigation mounted an aggressive personal defence on Thursday, rejecting accusations that he let his private political views bias his official actions and labelling Republican preoccupation with him "another victory notch in Putin's belt".

Thursday's marathon 10-hour hearing for Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok was so controversial it was labelled "a new low in the United States Congress".

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".

"I've talked to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents around the country", Gohmert continued, visibly upset.

"I found Lisa Page to be far more credible than Strzok", Gaetz said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the congressional focus on the "internal workings of the special counsel's investigation" distracts from more critical questions about Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the need to protect future USA elections from foreign influence.

"This information had the potential to derail and quite possibly defeat Mr. Trump, but the thought of expressing that, or exposing that information never crossed my mind", Efe quoted Mr Strzok as telling to lawmakers during a congressional hearing.

"Credibility of a witness is always an issue", Gohmert retorted over the commotion. It is true that the embarrassing and completely inappropriate text messages he exchanged with his Federal Bureau of Investigation paramour, attorney Lisa Page, have already been publicly dissected.




"I strongly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt", he told members of the committees.

Peter Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team after the discovery of derogatory text messages he traded with an Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer.

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

During the daylong meeting, Strzok sparred with Republicans, who lashed out at him in often sharply personal exchanges. "As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in".

The contentious hearing follows hours of closed-door questioning last week.

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

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. Strzok was removed from the special counsel probe after the text messages were discovered previous year, while Page had already left.

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.


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