Jimmy Kimmel Watches 'Republicans Lose Their Minds' At House Hearing
14 July, 2018, 02:06 | Author: Sherry Houston
On Thursday night, Stephen Colbert had some fun at the expense of congressional lawmakers over the marathon hearing of FBI Agent Peter Strzok.
But despite the partisan hubbub, the stakes were high.
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.
The text surfaced in last month's report released by the Justice Department inspector general.
Strzok worked on FBI investigations into both Clinton's use of an email server and potential co-ordination between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign. But House Republicans remain unconvinced. President Trump himself, while traveling overseas, drew attention to the drama over the interview. Strzok and Page were having an extramarital affair at the time.
But Republicans dispute that timeline. One lawmaker said he was lying and another said he didn't believe him.
At one point, Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, invoked Strzok's personal life by alluding to the fact the texts were exchanged while he and Page were in a relationship.
Strzok further went on to emphasize that no text he sent would ever influence his conduct in an investigation against the president, and that Republican attempts to undermine the FBI were a "victory notch in Putin's belt".
The controversial texts first came to light in December, when it was revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller dismissed Strzok from his team the previous summer upon learning of the messages.
Mr Strzok has been widely criticized for a text exchange he had during the electoral campaign with an Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer, who asked him if Mr Trump would be president, to which the agent responded: "No, he " s not. "We'll stop it", Mr. Strzok replied.
In the prepared remarks, Strzok acknowledges that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it was not directed at one person or political party, and included jabs not only at Trump, but also at Clinton as well as Sen.
"Every American, every single one, has a political belief", Strzok said, and the vast majority of those don't constitute bias.
"If you were kicked off when he read the texts, shouldn't you have been kicked off when you wrote them?"
During the daylong meeting, Strzok sparred with Republicans, who lashed out at him in often sharply personal exchanges.
"He's a liar. I mean he is a good liar", Kallstrom said of Strzok during an interview on "The Evening Edit" on Thursday. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte asked colleagues to imagine being investigated by someone who "hated you" and "disparaged you in all manner of ways".
Democrats upped the drama as well, yelling at the Republicans throughout the hearing.
The unsubstantiated accusations drew forceful objections from Democrats, including from Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, who called Gohmert's comments a "disgrace".
"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text. "Because it's not about you". "No he won't. We'll stop it".
He also said - a few times - that it was more frustrating for him than it was for lawmakers, suggesting he feels like there is more information that could help him clear his name.
"I urge our chairmen to change course and to keep their promises to protect the integrity of the special counsel's investigation", Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) said in his opening statement Thursday.
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