Lisa Page, the former senior Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer who exchanged text messages with an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent critical of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, appeared on Capitol Hill Friday for a closed-door interview, two days after she shunned a congressional subpoena.
Jeffress has argued that Page needs more time to review relevant records before testifying to the panels, a claim that the Republican members of those committees reject. "Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him". All the results of the investigation are "fruit of the poison tree" and should be dismissed'.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) reminded Strzok that it took him one day after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel into the investigation of President Trump's campaign and Russian officials before the FBI agent talked about impeachment proceedings.
Strzok also said he had never contemplated leaking damaging information he knew about the Trump campaign. And he called the hearing "just another victory notch in Putin's belt", referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Ron DeSantisRonald Dion DeSantisLive coverage: Tensions mount as Rosenstein grilled by GOP GOP lawmakers demand drafts of DOJ report on Clinton email investigation Live coverage: IG releases watchdog report on FBI, Clinton probe MORE (R-Fla.).
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. He told lawmakers the texts in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election reflected personal views that he had never acted on, angrily rejecting Republican allegations that he had set out to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.
The hearing was punctuated by chaos and yelling as Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte said Strzok needed to answer Republicans' questions and suggested they might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer.
"Would anyone sitting here today believe that this was an acceptable state of affairs, particularly at an agency whose motto is "Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity"?"
This, I think, is a smart tactic-playing defense would allow the Republicans to continue insinuating guilt, while going on the offensive against their inquisitors casts the accusations in their proper partisan light.
Strzok repeatedly insisted the texts, including ones in which he called Trump a "disaster" and said "We'll stop" a Trump candidacy, did not reflect political bias and had not infected his work.
Strzok implored Republicans to appreciate the context of his text, which was sent late at night, shortly after the Republican nominee had "insulted the immigrant family of a fallen war hero" (i.e., the family of Khizr Muazzam Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention). She is also expected to testify at a pubic hearing in the near future.
To which Republican Representative Ted Poe responded: "And I don't believe you". Stzrok wasn't "contrite" about his texts, which do show bias against Trump, but House Republicans promised to uncover facts, he said, and in 10 hours, "no proof was offered that Strzok did something acting on bias".
"My presumption, based on that frightful, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be President of the United States", Strzok said.