Chaos Erupts During Congressional Testimony by Anti-Trump FBI Agent Peter Strzok

U.S. President Donald Trump with Attorney General Jeff Sessions

The hearing got heated when chairman Bob Goodlatte ordered Strzok to answer a question asked by congressman Trey Gowdy as Democrat committee members complained Goodlatte did not have the authority to do so.

Strzok sought to explain his texts, including when he told Page "we'll stop" Trump, which he said was written in response to Trump's attacks on a Gold Star family during the 2016 campaign.

"I know that the majority wants a fight with Mr. Strzok today", Nadler said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., indicated earlier Wednesday that he would support Goodlatte's decision.

But later, Strzok testified that he wrote the text "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 awful disgusting behavior [was] that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States".

Cicilline interrupted, saying that Gohmert "asserted" that a witness (Strzok) lied and again demanded he withdraw his accusation.

When Gowdy brought up the text message on Thursday, Strzok told him it was important to look at the texts in their full context given what was happening in the country at the time.

Strzok, who was an Army officer before joining the FBI, repeatedly denied acting on his anti-Trump views while he worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and while he worked on the Mueller probe.

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

He called the text messages "only small pieces of a larger puzzle". Strzok plainly is talking about some sort of action "we" will take, some intervention, not the passivity of hoping Americans will reject Trump based on information it already has.

Meanwhile, the House broke questioning to hold a 5-minute long vote to table a motion made by Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) to subpoena former Trump aide Steve Bannon over his refusal to answer lawmakers' questions, similar to threats Strzok received during Thursday's hearing.

Strzok noted that there are numerous procedures and guidelines in place at the Federal Bureau of Investigation to stop such instances of agents who are acting in any way other than an official capacity.

"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. What can she possibly say about her statements and lies.

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

Jordan was focusing on how the FBI obtained copies of the famous Steel dossier, which describes years of collusion between President Donald Trump's associates and Russian Federation, but Strzok was not allowed to speak specifically about the ongoing investigation. It is generally agreed that his text messages were problematic, regardless of if you think this reflects corruption and bias in all law enforcement or the Mueller probe.

The FBI agent went on to assail Republicans for corroding "what the FBI is in American society", and impairing its capacity to execute its mission.

FBI Director Chris Wray says employees who were singled out for criticism in the report have been referred to internal disciplinary officials.

"If I could give you a Purple Heart I would". Strzok said, but was cut off by Gowdy.

Her lawyer said Page had offered to voluntarily appear before the committees later this month but needed more clarification about what the lawmakers would be asking.

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