Hearing a 'victory notch in Putin's belt': Federal Bureau of Investigation agent in Russian Federation probe

FBI agent Peter Strzok arrives for a closed-door hearing on June 27 before the House Judiciary Committee

But Republicans eager to undermine Mueller's investigation berated Strzok, citing the texts as evidence of partisan bias within a law enforcement agency supposed to steer clear of politics.

Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled Strzok as they argued that text messages he exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page colored the outcome of the Clinton investigation and undercut the ongoing Russian Federation probe. 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.

Strzok said under aggressive questioning that a much-discussed August 2016 text in which he vowed "we'll stop" a Trump candidacy followed Trump's denigration of the family of a dead USA service member.

"But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind", Strzok said.

"We don't want to read text message after text message dripping with bias against one of the two presidential candidates".

He said the Trump investigation originated not out of personal animus but rather from concern that Russia was meddling in the election, including what he said were allegations of "extraordinary significance" of a Russian offer of assistance to a Trump campaign member. But then it kept that investigation completely secret from the public, lest news of it affect the outcome of the investigation in any way.

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The vote took at least five minutes.

In his most direct defense of the controversial texts, Strzok said he had written them "off-the-cuff" and that it was important to view them in the context of the heated election in 2016, during which Trump engaged in numerous outrageous, racially-charged feuds - including with the family of Muslim U.S. Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

"This investigation is not politically motivated", Strzok said.

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 told lawmakers that he never attempted to use his power to try and prevent then-candidate Trump from winning the presidency. As one agent put it at the time, "The FBI is Trumpland".

Goodlatte threatened the witness with contempt over his refusal to answer the question, prompting angry responses from Democrats and demands for "points of order" and that the hearing be adjourned.

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Strzok did not respond to Gohmert's outburst about the affair with Page.

"My presumption [was] based on that awful, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States", Strzok explained.

"I can assure you Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took". I'll never get exhausted of saying this: you people lost.

And just as this kindergarten rumpus was ramping up in Washington, where the Major League Baseball all-star game will be played next week, word arrived from Columbus, Ohio that Stormy Daniels, the noted thespian, had been taken into police custody after she allowed a patron to touch her person while she was performing at a Buckeye State honky-tonk.

Strzok said Thursday he has continued working with Horowitz and his team to provide information related to the DOJ's 2016 Clinton email and Trump-Russia cases. They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me any more than I would tolerate it in them. "The suggestion that I'm in some dark chamber somewhere in the Federal Bureau of Investigation would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards, and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me ― it simply couldn't happen".

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