Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

My work has never been tainted by political bias — Federal Bureau of Investigation agent

My work has never been tainted by political bias — Federal Bureau of Investigation agent

Appearing before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, Strzok sought to explain his anti-Trump text messages at a time when he was the lead agent on the FBI's then-nascent Russian Federation investigation in 2016.

Several people, apparently committee staffers, stood up behind Democratic lawmakers, holding large posters of all those who have already pleaded guilty so far in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe.

That set up perhaps the most pivotal moment of the ongoing hearing, as Mr Strzok attempted to defend his, and the FBI's, integrity and explained that the texts in questions came after Mr Trump insulted the Muslim parents of a slain U.S. soldier.

In one, Page asked Strzok if Trump was going to be president.

Strzok replied that he was not under subpoena, but testifying voluntarily - and that he could not answer questions "related to the ongoing investigations being undertaken by the special counsel's office". She will instead appear in a closed-door hearing on Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte told Fox Business Network.

Peter Strzok opened the hearing with a short, yet powerful statement, bringing the President's own rhetoric into his message, and throwing it back into his face. Strzok says he never allowed personal opinions to taint his work.

"It would be his candidacy for the presidency", Strzok said. He and an FBI lawyer he sent the messages to briefly worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian Federation, but were dismissed from the team a year ago even though FBI agents are not prohibited from privately expressing political views.

An embattled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent whose anti-Trump text messages exposed the Justice Department to claims of institutional bias launched a vigorous defence Thursday at an extraordinary congressional hearing that devolved into shouting matches, finger pointing and veiled references to personal transgressions. "We don't want to read text message after text message dripping with bias against one of the two presidential candidates. No he won't. We'll stop it".

That comment caused an uproar at the hearing, and one congresswoman even shouted, "what is wrong with you, you need your medication!"

"At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok said. It simply couldn't happen. Some in the room applauded. Your losers-and there were some at the Department of Justice and the FBI who behaved appallingly in their investigations into Clinton's email probe and the Russian Federation counterintelligence investigation that is now being headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Strzok was removed from Mueller's team when media outlets obtained and published his text messages with Page.

Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen found himself in hot-water Thursday among America's fearless service men and women; bizarrely saying anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok deserves a Purple Heart over his escalating scandal. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.

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.

"Let me underscore: These are not allegations, these are admissions, " Cummings said.

Trump and his allies have suggested the texts are proof of a so-called deep state conspiracy against him, and that the Mueller probe is a politically motivated "witch hunt".

The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety.

Goodlatte went on to say she is still under the subpoena after dubbing it "disturbing" when she refused to comply with it on Wednesday.

"No the disgrace is what this man has done to our Justice system!"

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