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FBI Agent Angrily Rejects Charges of Bias at Chaotic Hearing

FBI Agent Angrily Rejects Charges of Bias at Chaotic Hearing

There are times when you watch what's happening in American politics and come to believe you've fallen through the rabbit hole, to a place where everything is upside down.

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.

Lisa Page will head to Capitol Hill Friday for a closed-door grilling about her anti-Donald Trump text messages with Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok, her ex-lover. His lawyer has argued that the public hearing is an attempt by Republicans to "trap" Strzok, and they have urged the committee's Republicans to release the transcript of his closed-door interview. "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".

Republicans have cited Page's and Strzok's messages as evidence about what they call bias inside federal law enforcement and that conspirators launched the Russian Federation investigation out of partisan animus. This is the man who signed off on the July 2016 counterintelligence probe into possible Russian collusion between the Trump camp and the Kremlin. But then it kept that investigation completely secret from the public, lest news of it affect the outcome of the investigation in any way.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., took his five minutes to force Strzok to read some of his own texts - including ones that used vulgarities.

The notion that Strzok can avoid the requirements of subpoena because he said he would appear voluntarily seems flimsy, if not frivolous.

Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen found himself in hot-water Thursday among America's courageous service men and women; bizarrely saying anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok deserves a Purple Heart over his escalating scandal.

In his opening statement, Strzok said he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage Trump but never contemplated leaking it and that the focus on him by Congress is misguided and plays into "our enemies' campaign to tear America apart". "At times my criticism was blunt, but despite how it has been characterized it was not limited to one person or one party". Tuesday that she would have access to the documents she needed for Wednesday's interview. In the latter case, apparently, Republicans don't think it applies.

Strzok fired back at Gohmert, saying, "your questioning of a look I would engage in with a family member who I have acknowledged hurting goes more towards a discussion of your character, and what you stand for, and is going inside you, than mine".

"You need to understand that that was written late at night, off the cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and 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".

"But 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".

"Mr. Chairman, I do not believe I am here under subpoena, " Strzok said.

"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.

Page told investigators that she and Strzok were having an affair, according to a Justice Department Inspector General's report about the Clinton email investigation, and that they used their work devices to hide that from their spouses.

"They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them", he went on.