6 key moments from Peter Strzok’s wild hearing

Jul 13, 2018, 02:53
6 key moments from Peter Strzok’s wild hearing

"Mr. Strzok, you are under subpoena and are required to answer the question", said Rep.

Democrats have said the investigation is an attempt to undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation. And, in additional texts, he called Trump a "disaster", "abysmal", and an "idiot". Strzok responded that he had been advised by the FBI's lawyers not to address specifics of what is still an ongoing investigation - now the Mueller investigation.

He played key roles in the FBI's investigations of Hillary Clinton's private email server and Russian interference in the 2016 election, and he appeared Thursday in front of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. They've proven that Strzok didn't think highly of Trump. "It is not a hoax".

At the heart of GOP lawmakers' complaints are a series of texts from August 8, 2016, between Strzok and his alleged mistress, Department of Justice lawyer Lisa Page, in which Strzok wrote to Page, "We'll stop" a Trump presidency.

Strzok sought to explain his texts, including when he told Page "we'll stop" Trump, which he said was written in response to Trump's attacks on a Gold Star family during the 2016 campaign. The committees ultimately voted to table the motion at the end of hearing.

Although the president had just concluded a long day of meetings at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels, his mind was clearly on Washington, as he tweeted about the "Rigged Witch Hunt" and Mr Strzok's "hate filled and totally biased Emails" just before 01:00 local time.

During his opening statement, House Oversight Committee ranking Democrat Elijah Cummings of Maryland asserted that Republicans were trying to shut down a fruitful investigation.

Trump weighed in on Twitter during his departure from a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in Brussels on Thursday, slamming Page for "dodging a subpoena" to avoid being grilled by the House committees.

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert characterized Agent Strzok's conduct as a "disgrace" and accused him of doing damage to the justice system.

"Well hang on a second Agent Strzok!" As Strzok began to talk, Gohmert tried to prevent Strzok from speaking again, saying he had not asked him a question.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) ordered Strzok to answer Gowdy's question. Strzok was pulled off the Mueller investigation previous year after the Justice Department's internal watchdog made the special prosecutor aware of the texts.

Judiciary ranking member Jerrold Nadler of NY took sharp exception to Goodlatte's threat.

"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.

One of those agents was Peter Strzok, the man who "oversaw the opening of the Russian Federation investigation".

"The special counsel has now obtained five guilty pleas and indicted 18 others, including some of President Trump's closest advisers - referencing posters that included retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who resigned and pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation".

"So it sounds like when you were writing these emails in the heat of the campaign, you had a lot of company on the Republican side of the aisle", Connolly told Strzok. 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.

The eight-plus hour hearing resembled a brawl between Democrats and Republicans much of the time, coming as Mueller's investigation into possible collusion and obstruction increasingly menaces the White House and Trump himself.

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