GOP lawmakers: Lisa Page more 'credible' witness than Peter Strzok

Hearing a 'victory notch in Putin's belt': FBI agent in Russia probe

Room erupts in anger and disbelief after Rep. Louie Gohmert asks FBI agent Peter Strzok about affair

The hearing brought a defiant Strzok face-to-face with Republican lawmakers who for months have held up his texts as the embodiment of anti-Trump bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for engaging in "large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 US presidential election". They eventually cost Strzok his place on Robert Mueller's investigative team.

There were several memorable moments, including one in the afternoon when Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert accused Strzok of wearing a "smirk" on his face throughout the hearing and tried to shame him by bringing up the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent's affair with former colleague Lisa Page.

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.

Strzok angrily responded, saying the "we'll stop it" text came in response to campaign occurrences such as Trump insulting the immigrant father of a fallen USA soldier.

Strzok called it "horrible and disgusting behaviour", and said he was stating his opinion the electorate would "stop" a candidate like that.

"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", he said.

Page and Strzok were catapulted to national attention in 2017 when their text messages became public.

"At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok said.

"Under oath, as I spoke also during my interview to you a week or two ago, I have always told the truth", Strzok began.

In an exchange with Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, chair of the House Oversight Committee, Strzok defended his "we'll stop" Trump text.

After the commotion died down, Gohmert used the remainder of his time to ask Strzok if he had spoken to Clinton more than once and to remark, incredulously, "So after throwing away what you have, with all the bias you have, you've never even gotten a thank you". The former Federal Bureau of Investigation counter-intelligence agent stridently claimed his messages with Page were not evidence of extreme bias against Trump and often derided House Republicans for investigating him.

"She's an irrelevant actor in a sideshow", Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, said of Page.

The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety through the texts.

Republicans, on the other hand, peppered Strzok with questions and expressed outrage that's been building for months.

Republican lawmakers say former Federal Bureau of Investigation layer Lisa Page provided new information and was cooperative during closed-door testimony.

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