FBI official Peter Strzok on Thursday said in sworn testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that the salacious Trump-Russia dossier is not why the FBI launched its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Ahead of the hearing, Nadler and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement Wednesday knocking the questions Republicans had asked of Strzok in the closed session, including queries on his extramarital affair with Page and his vote in 2016.
In Thursday's hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, Republicans hope to further undermine the credibility of the investigation and head off any potential effort to impeach Trump. In breaking his months-long silence, Strzok vigorously defended his handling of two hugely sensitive investigations in which he played a leading role: inquiries into Hillary Clinton's email use and possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.
Strzok testified before the House in a closed-door hearing in June, where Republicans railed against his credibility in claiming that his texts with Page were not evidence that he meant to block Trump from the presidency, as his critics have said an August 2016 message suggests.
Lawmakers have finished grilling an embattled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent whose anti-Trump text messages exposed the Justice Department to claims of institutional bias. But when they returned from recess, Mr. Gowdy again asked Mr. Strzok how many witnesses he interviewed before concluding Mr. Trump's impeachment. He said the texts reflected purely personal opinions that he never once acted on, though he did acknowledge being dismayed during the campaign by the Republican candidate's behavior.
Strzok admitted he had privately criticised Trump as well as other politicians, including Trump's Democratic opponent in the election, Hillary Clinton.
Strzok, who was an Army officer before joining the FBI, repeatedly denied acting on his anti-Trump views while he worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and while he worked on the Mueller probe. We've been flooded with hate-Trump messages.
Cohen addressed Strzok directly during his fiery Congressional testimony Thursday, saying "If I could give you a Purple Heart I would".
"It's something culturally that doesn't occur", Strzok told lawmakers.
The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety.
Gohmert is also accusing Strzok of lying when he expressed his opinion of whether derogatory comments he made about President Donald Trump in text messages showed bias. "Where is the Attorney General?" But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind.
"The Judiciary Committee intends to initiate contempt proceedings on Friday, July 13, 2018, at 10:30 a.m.", Goodlatte and Gowdy wrote in their letter to Amy Jeffress, who is representing Page.
Jeffress accused the panels of using unnecessary "bullying tactics" to push Page into an interview immediately, especially when "she has offered to voluntarily appear before the committees later this month".
This is the most disgusting moment from the Peter Strzok hearing all day.