GOP reps threaten maligned Federal Bureau of Investigation agent with contempt in House hearing

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In perhaps the most dramatic outburst, congressman Louie Gohmert raised the agent's extramarital affair: "I can't help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk - how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page?".

Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI counterintelligence official deeply involved in the Russian Federation investigation of Trump's campaign, insisted he was impartial despite his controversial August 2016 text exchange with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was then having an affair. "So it wasn't the discovery of texts that got him fired, it was the bias manifest in those texts that made him unfit to objectively and dispassionately investigate".

But Republicans eager to undermine Mueller's investigation berated Strzok, holding up the texts as evidence of partisan bias within a law enforcement agency meant to steer clear of political considerations. Strzok, who has already spoken to the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees behind closed doors, is expected to testify publicly before the panels Thursday.

Goodlatte threatened to hold Strzok in contempt after the committee devolved into a partisan brawl over whether Strzok could answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation. He told Gohmert the fact that he would say that to him "shows more what you stand for" than anything else.

A sign stands outside the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters in Washington, D.C., February 2, 2018.

Representatives appealed to the chairman, Rep. He served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of NY, is following the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh, and despite all of the news out there has not taken his eyes off of Mueller and his merry minions.

Gowdy was repeatedly interrupted through the rest of his questions, while he and Strzok got into a heated exchange.

Stephens, a former Wall Street Journal columnist, has emerged as one of the most prominent "Never Trump" Republicans in the media.

Plus, he said in an animated riff that drew Democratic applause, both the Clinton and Russian Federation investigations were handled by large teams that "would not tolerate any improper behaviour in me any more than I would tolerate it in them". "If you want to represent what you said accurately I am happy to answer that question, but I don't appreciate what was originally said being changed". "I clearly wasn't smelling one thing or the other", Strzok responded.

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This, I think, is a smart tactic-playing defense would allow the Republicans to continue insinuating guilt, while going on the offensive against their inquisitors casts the accusations in their proper partisan light.

"It was a wild day, but I would say, [Strzok] reading the text is one thing, but then to have him sit there and say, "I said I was going to stop Trump, I didn't mean the Federal Bureau of Investigation, I just meant the American people would". He said the text, written late at night and off-the-cuff, reflected his belief that the American public would not stomach such "horrible, disgusting behavior" by the Republican presidential candidate.

She plans to blatantly defy a congressional subpoena by refusing to appear for her deposition.

Goodlatte told Alisyn Camerota on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning that Page had agreed to an interview Friday.

Earlier this week, Page's attorney Amy Jeffress suggested her client needed more time to prepare for an interview with lawmakers.

The sharp tone of Strzok's statement set the stage for a contentious hearing following hours of closed-door questioning last week.

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

What he referred to as a "parliamentary smackdown" and the "Thunder Dome" in the Capitol Dome, Colbert began explaining to his audience how Strzok's anti-Trump tweets were being scrutinized by GOP lawmakers.

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