My work has never been tainted by political bias — Federal Bureau of Investigation agent

Controversial FBI official to testify about private text messages on Trump

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.

"Russian interference in our elections constitutes a grave attack on our democracy", Peter Strzok told lawmakers in his prepared opening statement. One of the few interruptions came when the networks cut away for a 10-minute window to broadcast a rather incongruous scene far from steamy Washington: the pomp and circumstance of Trump's arrival at stately Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, England, where the president was to join British Prime Minister Theresa May for a black-tie dinner on the second leg of his week-long Europe trip.

"Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took", Strzok said.

Chief among those skeptics was Rep. Louie Gohmert, the controversial Texas firebrand, who accused Strzok of lying to lawmakers.

FBI Agent Peter Strzok appeared before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday to answer questions. They eventually cost Strzok his place on Robert Mueller's investigative team.

Ex-CIA Director John Brennan castigated House Judiciary Committee GOP leaders Reps.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., finally said that Strzok would be recalled to the committee after the day's hearing so that it could determine whether to hold him in contempt.

"The gentleman's point of order is not well taken", Goodlatte said.

The hearings were burdened, however, by a queue of more than 70 members of Congress waiting to ask questions.

"I am stating to you it is not my understanding that he kicked me off because of any bias that it was done based on the appearance", Strzok said. Both Trump and Russian Federation have denied any collusion or wrongdoing.

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The room erupted into cries of anger and disbelief.

"Many people may have doubts and not believe that", he later demurred.

Strzok says a text message suggesting that he would stop then-candidate Trump from being president was written late at night, and "in no way suggested that I or the Federal Bureau of Investigation would take any action" to intervene in Trump's election.

Strzok called it "horrible and disgusting behaviour", and said he was stating his opinion the electorate would "stop" a candidate like that. So I take great offense. "It simply couldn't happen".

Krishnamoorthi, during a hearing with the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, was walking Strzok through a number of sections in the recent Justice Department Inspector General report on the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigation.

"They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them", Strzok said.

"Mr. Strzok, if I could give you a Purple Heart, I would, " Cohen said when he began his questioning.

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. Gohmert speculated about whether he looked "so innocent" when he looked into his wife's eyes and lied about the affair. A fellow Democrat chimed in: "Are there any rules against what they are doing?"

The unsubstantiated accusations drew forceful objections from Democrats, including from Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, who called Gohmert's comments a "disgrace".

Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it was not directed at one person or political party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton as well as Sen. "I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations during 2016". Strzok says he never allowed personal opinions to taint his work.

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