The embattled FBI agent who oversaw the opening of the Russian Federation investigation mounted an aggressive personal defence on Thursday, rejecting accusations that he let his private political views bias his official actions and labelling Republican preoccupation with him "another victory notch in Putin's belt".
As Gohmert went through his speaking time at a hearing on Thursday with the agent accused of anti-Trump bias, the Texas Republican sparred with another lawmaker, who called his statements a "disgrace". Strzok, a seasoned counterintelligence agent, helped lead both investigations but has since been reassigned to human resources.
"Under oath, as I spoke also during my interview to you a week or two ago, I have always told the truth", Strzok began.More news: Antonio Conte sacked by Chelsea
"In the majority's view, we do not have time to conduct oversight on nearly any national security issue - but we have hours on end to discuss Mr. Strzok's extramarital affair", Nadler said.
New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, said he thought it was against House rules to impugn the character of a witness.
Strzok was removed from that role after anti-Trump text messages between Strzok and an Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney - Lisa Page, the woman with whom he was having an affair - were published. Both agents had been working on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe at the time. "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".
"It wasn't the discovery of your texts, Mr. Strzok".More news: Kate Middleton Has Worn This Designer at All of Her Children’s Christenings
Strzok is testifying publicly on Capitol Hill for the first time since the release of a Justice Department inspector general report that heavily criticized his comments.
Just hours after Strzok's outrageous hearing, Lisa Page was questioned behind closed doors.
Republicans eager for ways to discredit Mueller's investigation have for months held up the texts from Strzok and Page to support allegations of anti-Trump bias within federal law enforcement. Strzok's lawyer has said he was escorted from the Federal Bureau of Investigation building last month as the disciplinary process winds its way through the system.
Page is expected to speak to lawmakers at a private meeting Friday.More news: Trump threatens to pull United States out of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation