Strzok: Giuliani's 'Big Surprise' Brag Had Me Worried About Clinton Probe Leaks

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In his opening statement, Strzok declared that his respect to Congress's oversight role does not extend to their questioning of him, despite evidence of his bias in the form of text messages with Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page. Your losers-and there were some at the Department of Justice and the FBI who behaved appallingly in their investigations into Clinton's email probe and the Russian Federation counterintelligence investigation that is now being headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Mr. Goodlatte then reminded the witness about a tweet that stated that he had visited a Walmart store in benighted southern Virginia, where, Strzok wrote, he could "SMELL the Trump support".

"No wonder Bob Mueller kicked you off of the investigation, Agent Strzok", House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told him. Strzok was pulled off the Mueller investigation a year ago after the Justice Department's internal watchdog made the special prosecutor aware of the texts.

Goodlatte moved to table the motion until the end of the hearing, which was approved by a voice vote, but Democrats objected and demanded a recorded vote.

Strzok has met with members of the House Judiciary Committee privately, but his hearing scheduled for Thursday is open. The texts were discovered during the Justice Department inspector general's probe of the Clinton email investigation.

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You know, I didn't get the impression he was agreeing with it at all, by the way.

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. "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".

The hearings were burdened, however, by a queue of more than 70 members of Congress waiting to ask questions. He said the hearing plays into Putin's hands, and he defended his and the FBI's actions investigating Hillary Clinton's email server and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The last part of comment, referencing the extramarital affair between Strzok and Page, prompted jeers from others on the committee, including one person who could be heard saying, "This is outrageous".

Strzok looked straight ahead, his somewhat bemused expression unchanging, as the room erupted into a cacophony of yells, with one lawmaker firing back at Gohmert, "You need your medication!"

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At one point, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) asked Strzok how many people he had interviewed for the Russian Federation probe between July 31 and August 8, 2016.

Strzok called it "horrible and disgusting behaviour", and said he was stating his opinion the electorate would "stop" a candidate like that.

"Because, while it's certainly possible that Mr. Giuliani is exaggerating or engaging in some sort of puffery, the reality is that also given the things that were going on, given timing that the laptop was there and he was talking about that in the context of a big surprise, it caused me great concern that he had information about that - that he should not have had", Strzok said.

"Several Republicans, including Louie Gohmert, I will say, went way overboard, it felt like a public lynching", Perino continued on.

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".

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The DOJ IG report, however, concluded it could not find evidence of "political bias" toward Trump. Goodlatte stressed that it was the committee's practice and that there was an agreement to keep closed-door hearings private while an investigation is ongoing.