Members of Congress seek to grill Page regarding about her anti-Trump text messages with embattled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok, with whom she had an affair.
Throughout the hearing, Strzok denied that any of his animus toward Trump affected his work, and said lawmakers were taking his words out of context. The 2008 Republican presidential candidate has repeatedly challenged Mueller's appointment and claimed no collusion took place between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation, while personally attacking Mueller and any findings of his probe.
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.
"In the end the hearing did more to harm Congress and the Federal Bureau of Investigation than it did to expose wrongdoing", the Washington Post editorial board concluded on Friday in a piece titled The Strzok hearing damaged our democracy.
"President Trump's continued refusal to condemn the Russians' attacks on our democracy, even after Special Counsel Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for interfering in the 2016 election, makes it clear that meeting with Putin would be both pointless and unsafe", Pelosi said.
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Whether you believe Strzok's account of what he was thinking, the fact is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation said little about Russian meddling before Election Day 2016.
"Mr. Gowdy, my understanding of why I was kicked off was that based on an understanding of those texts, and the perception that they might create-" Strzok said. Strzok helped lead the FBI's early investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential race and Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
Several Democrats gasped, shouting at Gohmert, "That is outrageous!" and "Shame on you!"
"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text.
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.
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Asked about the arrest, a man who answered the phone at Sirens on Thursday morning declined to comment or provide his name. Prosecutors later dismissed the charges, according to a motion posted on Twitter by Cliffords lawyer, Michael Avenatti .
In his opening statement, Strzok said he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage Trump but never contemplated leaking it and that the focus put on him by Congress is misguided and plays into "our enemies' campaign to tear America apart".
Strzok's testimony left much of the American public frustrated, DeSantis said. But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision to not pursue criminal charges against Clinton.
FBI Director Chris Wray has said employees who were singled out for criticism by the inspector general have been referred to internal disciplinary officials.
Republicans, on the other hand, peppered Strzok with questions and expressed outrage that's been building for months.
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