My Work Has Never Been Tainted by Political Bias — FBI Agent

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

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

A hearing regarding text messages sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok during the 2016 presidential campaign devolved into a chaotic shouting match between Republican and Democratic members of the House after the very first question when Strzok informed Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) that the FBI had told him there were specific questions about ongoing investigations that he was not at liberty to answer.

Even if you were to set aside the fact that the director of the FBI quite possibly threw the election to Trump when he violated FBI protocols and announced 11 days before the election that the bureau was reopening the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, the idea that the bureau attempted to hinder Trump's election isn't just unsupported by any evidence, it's contradicted by everything they did. Considering Democrats agree with his motivations, not to mention the way he classified Trump voters as uneducated, smelly and bigoted in text messages to his mistress, the cheers aren't surprising.

Republican Representative Bob Goodlatte, who heads the House Judiciary Committee, threatened to hold Strzok in contempt at the end of the hearing if he did not answer Gowdy's question.

For a brief moment, lawmakers floated the idea of Strzok having some company when he appears Thursday - as the committee offered Page a spot to testify at Thursday's hearing. He and Page were kicked off the special counsel Robert Mueller's team previous year after Mueller discovered their text messages and he has since been reassigned within the bureau.

"I think it's important when you look at those texts that you understand the context in which they were made and the things that were going on across America", Strzok told the committee.

'At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took, ' Strzok said.

"We'll stop it", Strzok texted Page in August 2016 - apparently referring to the prospect of Trump being elected president, according to a June report by the inspector general.

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You will notice that Republicans have not been able to produce any evidence that Strzok or anyone else took any official action that was biased, unfair, or inappropriate in their investigation of Russian meddling and the Trump campaign.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement Wednesday knocking the questions Republicans had asked of Strzok in the closed session, including queries on his extramarital affair with Page and his vote in 2016. Strzok replied: "No, he's not".

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

"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took", he is expected to say. "I want to know what "it" meant, Agent Strzok", Gowdy said.

Strzok wound up where he begun, with a condemnation of the partisan attacks on the Justice Department and FBI he said had been corrosive of Americans' trust in federal law enforcement.

The contentious hearing follows hours of closed-door questioning last week. 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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