FBI Agent: 'Disgusting' Comments On Gold Star Family Inspired Anti-Trump Texts

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

Peter Strzok, who helped lead FBI investigations into Hillary Clinton's email use and potential coordination between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's campaign, was testifying publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team following the discovery of the derogatory text messages past year.

Strzok played important roles in both the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was secretary of state and the investigation of Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential race now run by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller. "But that was a year and a half too late".

"Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!"

Republicans blame Strzok for trying to stop the Trump campaign from succeeding, but Strzok insists that any bias did not influence his decisions or any decision made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages fueled suspicions of partisan bias told lawmakers Thursday that his work has never been tainted by politics and that the intense scrutiny he is facing represents "just another victory notch in Putin's belt". Alex Wong/Getty Images Strzok played a critical role in both the Clinton and Russian Federation probes.

Strzok was there to publicly address Republican accusations that he sought to improperly affect the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election, and had a heated back-and-forth with Rep. Trey Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

Goodlatte responded: "And you described that as "smell" in capital letters?"

Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep.

"As House Judiciary Republicans spend half the day or longer publicly flogging Peter Strzok", wrote Wheeler, "know that all that flogging can not change the fact that key evidence in Mueller's possession, evidence which I suspect implicates the president directly, has absolutely no tie to Peter Strzok at all". Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer.

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The controversial texts first came to light in December, when it was revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller dismissed Strzok from his team the previous summer upon learning of the messages. "I am specifically directing you to answer the question in response to our subpoena", Goodlatte said.

"You tell me", Trump said during an interview with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos. "At every step, at every investigative decision, there are multiple layers of people above me. and multiple layers of people below me. all of whom were involved in all of these decisions". After Page asked Strzok whether Trump would win the election, Strzok replied that he would not, adding that "we'll stop it".

"It was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero", Strzok said, "and my presumption based on that frightful, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States".

It is point that has been largely brushed aside in Trump-friendly media circles, with a text Strzok sent to Page in May 2017 also receiving comparatively little scrutiny. Her attorney confirmed to CNN she will be interviewed on Friday and she did not appear at Thursday's public hearing.

The contentious hearing follows hours of closed-door questioning last week.

The Strzok-Page saga has also attracted the personal attention of the president, who has frequently commented on the ongoing scandal as evidence of a "witch hunt" against him.

But Goodlatte pushed back at the top of the hearing, defending his committee's investigation.

The White House said President Trump is monitoring the hearing from Europe.

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