Sparks Fly at Joint Hearing to Question FBI Agent Peter Strzok

U.S. President Donald Trump with Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Strzok's anti-Trump text messages became the focus of congressional investigators who believe his personal bias affected his handling of the Clinton email investigation and the Russian Federation collusion counterintelligence investigations.

In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign.

Immediately after the opening statements, Trey Gowdy, House Oversight Committee Chairman, asked Strzok how many people he interviewed during the first eight days of the FBI's Russian Federation investigation (between July 31 and August 8, 2016).

"This investigation is a political charade - a platform to elevate far-right conspiracy theories and undermine the special counsel's ongoing criminal investigation of the President and his campaign aides", Nadler and Cummings said in that statement.

Strzok was accused of anti-Trump bias by President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-Russia ambassador: Trump has done more damage to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in months than Russia has in decades Trump takes credit for increased defense spending by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, but says "it isn't almost enough" Trump questions how Russia probe can "proceed" given Federal Bureau of Investigation agent's private comments MORE and his Republican allies after the text messages came to light in a highly anticipated report from the Justice Department's internal watchdog last month.

"The gentleman's point of order is not well taken", Goodlatte said.

During the course of their affair, they texted about their disdain of Trump and, at times, his supporters on their FBI-issued phones.

"The more information we acquire, the more interviews we conduct, and the more sources we contact, the more we learn", he said.

"She is still under that subpoena, and this appearance will go a long way towards allowing the committees to get the information they need from her as part of our investigation, into what happened in 2016 and the disparate treatment bias reflected in texts between her and Peter Strzok", Goodlatte said.

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"That was being used in the context of me not knowing what it would lead to", Mr. Strzok said. "That is why we're here and why this matter". They've proven that Strzok didn't think highly of Trump.

"You have not stated a valid, legal basis for not responding to a question directed to you by a member of the United States House of Representatives", the chairman said, threatening to hold Strzok in contempt. Bernie Sanders. He said there was "simply no evidence of bias in my professional actions".

Strzok said he didn't have to answer the question because, despite being subpoenaed by the committee, he had previously said he would speak voluntarily.

"To suggest we can parse down the shorthand like they're some contract for a vehicle is simply not consistent with my or most people's use of text messaging", Strzok said, practically yelling at Gowdy. It is generally agreed that his text messages were problematic, regardless of if you think this reflects corruption and bias in all law enforcement or the Mueller probe.

Strzok said he doesn't remember writing the text.

The FBI agent went on to assail Republicans for corroding "what the FBI is in American society", and impairing its capacity to execute its mission.

Strzok appeared before lawmakers in Congress last month for a closed-door interview.

Strzok is testifying publicly on Capitol Hill for the first time since the release of a Justice Department inspector general report that heavily criticized his comments.

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