Ex-GOP lawmaker: Strzok hearing 'was a humiliating day' for Republicans

NATO official Expectations for summit low

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) reminded Strzok that it took him one day after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel into the investigation of President Trump's campaign and Russian officials before the FBI agent talked about impeachment proceedings.

Page, who worked for Andrew McCabe when he was Federal Bureau of Investigation deputy director and briefly served on special counsel Robert Mueller III's team, "was part of the mess that we've uncovered over at DOJ", Ryan said. Horowitz told lawmakers after the report's release that he is not confident that Strzok was unbiased during the FBI's investigation into Clinton's emails. But House Republicans remain unconvinced.

Mr Manafort's lawyers had been asking to have his 25 July trail date pushed back to allow him more time to prepare - a request that the judge recently denied.

But Republicans dispute that timeline. "Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, please", one said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) even questioned Strzok's character.

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.

"[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right?"

To which Strzok replied: "Yet he may win".

That set up perhaps the most pivotal moment of the ongoing hearing, as Mr Strzok attempted to defend his, and the FBI's, integrity and explained that the texts in questions came after Mr Trump insulted the Muslim parents of a slain United States soldier, which he called "horrible, disgusting behaviour".

In his opening statement, Strzok acknowledged 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 and Senator Bernie Sanders. It just shows what a bad president he is."Khan, who has no powers over immigration, also questioned the motives behind Trump's repeated criticism."Manchester also suffered a terror attack ..."

The top query, he said, is whether her political bias bled into her work.

It's worth noting that Goodlatte's justification - that the committee's investigation is ongoing - was the same one Strzok offered for not answering questions about the special counsel's Russian Federation probe.

During the daylong meeting, Strzok sparred with Republicans, who lashed out at him in often sharply personal exchanges. California Rep. Darrell Issa made Strzok read out his own texts, including some with profane language and one that calls Trump a "disaster". Perception - you're saying it was the perception!

The hearing was punctuated by chaos and open yelling as Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte said Strzok needed to answer Republicans' questions and suggested they might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer.

For many viewers watching from home, either viewpoint was overshadowed by the stunning display of congressional dysfunction as the hearing descended into shouting matches between lawmakers and between Republicans and the witness.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Friday indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for engaging in "large-scale cyber operations to interfere with the 2016 USA presidential election". He said Strzok's texts were "the ideal foil" for Republicans.

"That's a disgrace", Cicilline said. "Because it's not about you". "I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations in 2016".

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