Embattled FBI Agent Peter Strzok Defiantly Defends Himself at Heated House Hearing

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies before the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a 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".

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok is seated to testify before the the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on "Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election", on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Washington.

However, House Republicans, capitalizing on the text messages in an effort to discredit Mueller's investigation, said they didn't believe Strzok.

"He's a liar. I mean he is a good liar", Kallstrom said of Strzok during an interview on "The Evening Edit" on Thursday.

He insisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation had good cause two years ago to start investigating whether the Trump campaign was working with the Kremlin amid allegations of what he described as a Russian offer of assistance to a Trump campaign associate.

"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. Last year, he was reassigned from Mueller's team after the compromising texts emerged.

"It was an opportunity for Agent Strzok to rehabilitate his reputation after nearly a year of - of smears", he said. Throughout the hearing, Strzok denied that any of his animus toward Trump affected his work, and said lawmakers were taking his words out of context.

"Well then why did you get kicked off?"

"We have indulged this harassment [for] nine minutes", Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), a member of the House Oversight Committee, interjected at one point during Gowdy's questioning.

"I have a major problem. about the volume", said Walker.

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Democrats threw their support behind Strzok with gusto.

"I do not have bias", he continued, adding that he believed he was sacked not because his personal opinions impacted his work, but because the texts gave the "perception" of bias.

"You need to understand that 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 [was] that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States", Strzok said in explaining the text.

Russia, China and the big European powers say they still back the 2015 multinational nuclear deal with Iran, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out.

But Republicans insisted Strzok's testimony showed the extent to which bias infected the Russian Federation inquiry.

The hearing was punctuated by chaos and yelling as Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte said Strzok needed to answer Republicans' questions and suggested they might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer.

Republicans, on the other hand, peppered Strzok with questions and expressed outrage that's been building for months.

She plans to blatantly defy a congressional subpoena by refusing to appear for her deposition.

Strzok had told Gowdy he was unable to answer a question related to the Russian Federation probe, saying he had been instructed not to comment on matters related to an ongoing investigation.

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