Peter Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team after the discovery of derogatory text messages he traded with an Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer. 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.
"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", the Federal Bureau of Investigation agent said during the contentious hearing in Congress.
Controversial FBI agent Peter Strzok said on Thursday that he had damaging information on US President Donald Trump during the 2016 US presidential election that may have derailed his campaign.
"We know Peter Strzok is a bad guy", the California Republican told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" about the agent who at one time had been in charge of the investigations into Hillary Clinton's email server and that of now-President Donald Trump and Russian Federation.
Gowdy seized on one message that has received particular attention from right-wing media outlets, an August 8, 2016, text in which Strzok, discussing with Page the prospect of a Trump win, says, "No".
"My presumption [was] based on that terrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States", Strzok explained.
"Peter Strzok's testimony was a disgrace", Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for the president, said on Twitter. "That is who we are as the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
"I've talked to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents around the country".
Some Democrats applauded after he finished speaking. It is true that the embarrassing and completely inappropriate text messages he exchanged with his Federal Bureau of Investigation paramour, attorney Lisa Page, have already been publicly dissected.
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.
This argument would nearly certainly fall apart before a judge, given the fact that the FBI Inspector General found no evidence that Peter Strzok's "political bias" affected the outcome of either the FBI's investigation into candidate Donald Trump or their investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton.
Meadows called Page a "very credible witness", and said she had been "falsely accused" of not wanting to cooperate with the committee, a charge that had been levied by his fellow Republicans and President Trump. "We did not see the smug attitude that we saw from Strozk".
Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee says Republican attacks on the anti-Trump FBI agent are an attempt to undermine the Russian collusion investigation. Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed without calling the panel into recess.
Strzok tried to respond, but Gohmert cut him off, insisting that he was not allowed to answer due to hearing rules that the witness could only respond if a representative asked a direct question.
"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", he said.
Strzok replied, "No, Mr. Gowdy, it wasn't". "As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in".
The sharp tone of Strzok's statement set the stage for a contentious hearing following hours of closed-door questioning last week.
"It wasn't the discovery of your texts, Mr. Strzok". Strzok was removed from the special counsel probe after the text messages were discovered a year ago, while Page had already left.