Hearing a 'victory notch in Putin's belt': Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in Russian Federation probe
14 July, 2018, 08:05 | Author: Myra Gill
Goodlatte let the embattled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent go ahead anyway.
A joint House hearing to question an FBI agent who worked on investigations involving both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton quickly devolved into chaos as Republicans demanded he answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation.
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". "That is bias. Agent Strzok may not see it, but the rest of the country does, and it is not what we want, expect or deserve from any law enforcement officer, much less the Federal Bureau of Investigation". "If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would", said Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN).
Once special counsel Robert Mueller found out about his text messages he fired him from the Russian Federation investigation.
"Mr. Strzok, I don't know where to start", Cohen said as he started his allotted five minutes.
Gohmert said impassionedly as Democrats on the committee yelled, "Mister Chairman, this is outrageous!" and a female member yelled, "You need your medication". He was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team following the discovery of the derogatory text messages a year ago, exchanged with an Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer he was having an affair with.
But, he added in a raised voice and emphatic tone, "It was in no way - unequivocally - any suggestion that me, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate".
Strzok tried to respond, but Gohmert cut him off, insisting that he was not allowed to answer due to hearing rules that the witness could only respond if a representative asked a direct question.
The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety.
The hearing lasted five hours and may resume on Monday.
Committee members sought to question Strzok about the texts and to determine how, if at all, his anti-Trump bias impacted the investigations. He said it was not a declaration that he or the Federal Bureau of Investigation would improperly interfere with the electoral process.
Gohmert said he meant to ask Strzok about an allegation that the agent was told by Intelligence Community Inspector General's investigator Frank Rucker that an "anomaly" was found in the metadata within Clinton's unauthorized private email server.
Page is expected to speak to lawmakers at a private meeting Friday.
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