GOP chairman calls out Democrats in opening statement of Strzok hearing

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Testifying publicly in a House Oversight Committee hearing, Strzok argued that Trump's regular insinuations that he was part of a "deep state" effort to harm his candidacy are wrong, noting that there are procedures in place to prevent any single agent from affecting an investigation.

Another highlight occurred when Strzok was called on to explain to his text to Lisa Page saying "we'll stop" Donald Trump from being elected president.

"I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart". He mentioned an insurance policy that many allege was the Trump dossier, which was compiled by Fusion GPS, who had been hired by the Clinton campaign to find dirt on Trump.

Strzok volunteered to testify before Congress after the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general, Michael Horowitz, released a report last month that revealed how senior Federal Bureau of Investigation officials repeatedly expressed their support for Clinton and denigrated Trump during the election.

One of the subplots here has been Democrats' push to release the transcript of Strzok's previous, closed-door testimony.

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Appearing before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, Strzok sought to explain his anti-Trump text messages at a time when he was the lead agent on the FBI's then-nascent Russian Federation investigation in 2016.

A New Jersey Democratic congresswoman interrupted House Oversight Committee Chariman Trey Gowdy of SC, telling him he was "out of control" at FBI Agent Peter Strzok's hearing.

The exchange between Gowdy - an outspoken Republican who rose to prominence over his handling of the congressional Benghazi hearings - and Strzok on Thursday ended with Strzok erupting into an impassioned monologue about how his personal texts did not interfere with any investigation, and blasting any attempt to use concerns about his texts to undermine confidence in the FBI.

"This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump", Strzok said.

"I don't recall writing that text", Strzok added later, with Gowdy talking over him.

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"To suggest we can parse down the shorthand like they're some contract for a auto is simply not consistent with my or most people's use of text messaging", Strzok said, practically yelling at Gowdy. She noted that all their GOP conspiracy theories about the FBI fail to grapple with one simple reality: Because of the FBI, Trump became president and Hillary Clinton did not. "Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!" tweeted Donald Trump, taking a break from dynamiting the Atlantic alliance in advance of his upcoming canoodle with V. V. Putin. Strzok says he never allowed personal opinions to taint his work.

When his speech concluded, Democrats in the room applauded.

The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety through the texts. Goodlatte said he was holding open the prospect of calling Strzok back again because he was unsatisfied with the lack of answers to some questions. And many Democrats say actions taken by law enforcement during the campaign season - including announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton just days before the election - actually wound up harming the Democratic candidate and aiding the Republican candidate, Trump.

"Here are the officials who have already admitted their guilt".

"No the disgrace is what this man has done to our Justice system!" Her lawyer said Page had offered to voluntarily appear before the committees later this month but needed more clarification about what the lawmakers would be asking.

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