UPDATE | 8:00 p.m. | The hearing concluded more than ten hours after it started Thursday morning around 10:00 a.m. Replays of the first two segments (morning and afternoon) are available below, full replay above.
FBI agent Peter Strzok leaving lengthy Hse hrng about FBI actions during election. As Strzok left Rayburn, he joked to USCP officers walking him to the car that as a FBI Agent, he knew the drill and was used to walking supects “to the car.” pic.twitter.com/MQqVTnvpm6— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) July 13, 2018
The FBI agent who was removed from the Mueller probe when his anti-Trump text messages came to light appeared Thursday to give his side of the story before a joint hearing of the House Judiciary & Oversight and Government Reform committees. You can scroll through the full replay above and watch highlights below.
The hearing, titled “Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election: Testimony by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok,” was the first time the public has heard from the former FBI counterintelligence chief who led the Clinton/email and Trump/Russia investigations during the 2016 election.
Strzok said in his opening statement that he has never allowed personal opinions to affect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage then-candidate Donald Trump but never contemplated leaking it to the press, and that recent congressional focus on him is misguided and plays into "our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart."
Order fell apart quickly when Strzok refused to answer questions about the ongoing Mueller investigation, and Democrats were outraged when Rep. Louie Gohmert attacked Strzok's credibility, saying: "I can't help but wonder when I see you sitting there with your little smirk. How many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?"
Strzok faced tough questions from other Republicans about his famous "we'll stop him" text message, his role in the Clinton email case, the origins of the Steele dossier, and his removal from the Mueller probe.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte threatened Strzok with contempt because he refused to answer questions about the Mueller probe but Democrats defended Strzok, calling the Republican-led hearing a "circus sideshow."
Rep. Steve Cohen said Strzok deserved a Purple Heart for the way he was treated by Republicans and Rep. Luis Gutierrez said that only "FOX News and the Kremlin" would celebrate the performance.
Strzok himself agreed with Gutierrez saying that the hearing represented "another victory notch in Putin's belt" and his much-attacked text messages were an expression of "deep patriotism".
Part one (morning):
Part two (afternoon):
President Trump has been very vocal about Strzok:
I am on Air Force One flying to NATO and hear reports that the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are getting cold feet on testifying about the Rigged Witch Hunt headed by 13 Angry Democrats and people that worked for Obama for 8 years. Total disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2018
Ex-FBI LAYER Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena to testify before Congress! Wow, but is anybody really surprised! Together with her lover, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, she worked on the Rigged Witch Hunt, perhaps the most tainted and corrupt case EVER!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok? Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018