It went on for 15 minutes.
Mr. Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, questioned Mr. Strzok about his dismissal from Mr. Mueller's team, saying the texts disparaging President Trump showed he was biased.
Former FBI agent Peter Strzok said Thursday that his text messages with another FBI official with whom he was having an affair did not factor into his work on the bureau's investigations into President Donald Trump's ties to Russian Federation or into Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information.
"The Judiciary Committee intends to initiate contempt proceedings on Friday, July 13, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.", Goodlatte and Gowdy wrote in their letter to Amy Jeffress, who is representing Page.
"At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok said. Strzok said the disparaging comments were merely political commentary between colleagues during a remarkably heated election. They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me any more than I would tolerate it in them. It simply couldn't happen.
For a brief moment, lawmakers floated the idea of Strzok having some company when he appears Thursday - as the committee offered Page a spot to testify at Thursday's hearing.
Strzok responded, "No. No he's not".
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. "What and who did you mean by 'it?"
"Mr. Gowdy, as I've stated, that text was written late at night in shorthand".
Strzok told lawmakers that he was overseen by bureaucratic layers of oversight that would have stopped him from meddling in the election, even if he had wanted to do so.
In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign.
Strzok said he could not answer a question about the early stages of the FBI investigation into Russian intervention because the probe is still ongoing and FBI counsel had instructed him not to.
The White House said President Trump is monitoring the hearing from Europe. To Republicans, those text messages are the smoking gun that proves Trump is utterly blameless and the entire investigation into him was tainted from the start and must be shut down.
Strzok had told Gowdy he was unable to answer a question related to the Russian Federation probe, saying he had been instructed not to comment on matters related to an ongoing investigation.
"It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate", Strzok said. Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer.
At another point, Gowdy demanded that Strzok explain why he had to leave Mueller's team past year. I do not have bias.
Outgoing Congressman Trey Gowdy brought up that text and another in which Strzok said Hillary Clinton should win "100 million to zero".
"Well hang on a second Agent Strzok!"