House Republicans face off with Federal Bureau of Investigation agent at raucous hearing

Donald Trump takes the fight to NATO

Donald Trump takes the fight to NATO

Thursday's hearing frequently devolved into shouting matches as Democrats and Republicans argued about the fairness of questions posed to Strzok, who was under Federal Bureau of Investigation orders not to address certain matters related to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's ongoing probe of Russian interference in the election and whether any of President Trump's associates aided those efforts.

"The moment special counsel Bob Mueller found out about Peter Strzok's text and emails he kicked him off of the investigation", said House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican.

The interview will also be transcribed, too, according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Ohio.

Goodlatte eventually let the hearing of the body's judiciary and oversight committees to proceed without calling the panel into recess. "This decision is long overdue".

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attacked Strzok's marathon testimony and stated those who were investigating the president's former campaign had a "pathological hatred" toward Trump. Stzrok wasn't "contrite" about his texts, which do show bias against Trump, but House Republicans promised to uncover facts, he said, and in 10 hours, "no proof was offered that Strzok did something acting on bias".

Gohmert said he was incensed at Strzok and thought he was knowingly lying to lawmakers, which in turn steered his questioning of Strzok toward his personal life. Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer.

Mueller reassigned Strzok after the Justice Department discovered highly political text messages that he sent Page during the 2016 election cycle. In it, Strzok describes his reluctance to work on behalf of the special counsel, and that seemed to imply he didn't think there would be substantial findings of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign team.

"If you were kicked off when he read the texts, shouldn't you have been kicked off when you wrote them?"

Strzok called it "horrible and disgusting behaviour", and said he was stating his opinion the electorate would "stop" a candidate like that.

Strzok struck a combative tone throughout the hearing, telling congressmen, "Today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart".

In an exchange with Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, chair of the House Oversight Committee, Strzok defended his "we'll stop" Trump text.

Strzok argued that Mueller did not remove him from his team because of bias, but because of the perception the texts created.

He said he was one of the few people in 2016 who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with the Trump campaign, and that that information could have derailed Trump's election chances. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-New Jersey, said, "I have never seen my colleagues so out of control, so angry".

Strzok said he was directed by FBI's legal counsel not to answer questions about an ongoing investigation, but Goodlatte demanded that he answer Gowdy's question, prompting a lengthy delay before Strzok asked to speak to the FBI general counsel. Page will attend a closed-door interview on Friday with the committees.

Rudy Giuliani opened up a new front late Thursday night in his war against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, saying that his entire Russian Federation probe should be tossed out because a former key investigator's "pathological hatred" of Donald Trump has tainted everything in his path.

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