Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled Strzok as they argued that text messages he exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page colored the outcome of the Clinton investigation and undercut the ongoing Russian Federation probe. "As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in".
In his first public comments since private text messages between Strzok and Page were disclosed, the agent concluded opening remarks with a pointed broadside against his antagonisers.
The two agents disparaged Trump throughout 2016, describing him as an "idiot" and a "menace".
Thursday's hearing, which was the first public appearance Strzok has made since he became a central figure in the Russian Federation investigation, underscored the deep tensions on Capitol Hill over the FBI's investigations connected to the 2016 election.
The hearing exposed clear partisan divides in the House judiciary and oversight committees, as Democrats accused Republicans of trying to divert attention from Trump's ties to Russian Federation by excessively focusing on Strzok.
"This investigation is not politically motivated", Strzok said. "It is not a hoax".
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"Ex-FBI LAYER Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena to testify before Congress!"
The tone he set did not endear him with the leaders of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, which have made him and a former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer, Lisa Page, the targets of months of attacks about political bias within the agencies.
Strzok's hearing was broadly panned by Democrats and Republicans, with GOP members of the House Oversight Committee taking heat for their performance.
At one point, Strzok said he didn't appreciate an assertion from Gowdy, who retorted, "I don't give a damn what you appreciate".
"It was an opportunity for Agent Strzok to rehabilitate his reputation after nearly a year of - of smears", he said.
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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. He told Gohmert the fact that he would say that to him "shows more what you stand for" than anything else.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, alleged in a statement Tuesday that Page of "blatantly" defying the subpoena, and accused of her of having "something to hide".
But Goodlatte dismissed Nadler's objections and members of the committees joined in the bickering for several minutes before Gowdy continued his questioning - which drew further objection from other members of the House committees. Gowdy interjected. "Hang on a second".
"I do not have bias", he continued, adding that he believed he was sacked not because his personal opinions impacted his work, but because the texts gave the "perception" of bias.
Stephens, a former Wall Street Journal columnist, has emerged as one of the most prominent "Never Trump" Republicans in the media.
Page served as the deputy counsel to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and worked briefly for the Mueller team, but was taken off the special counsel's staff when the text messages were discovered.
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