Published: Sun, July 15, 2018
Sci-tech | By Lila Blake

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page appears for closed-door interview on Capitol Hill

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page appears for closed-door interview on Capitol Hill

This argument would nearly certainly fall apart before a judge, given the fact that the FBI Inspector General found no evidence that Peter Strzok's "political bias" affected the outcome of either the FBI's investigation into candidate Donald Trump or their investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton.

Page - whose affair with Strzok has led Trump to dub them the "FBI lovers" - struck a deal with the House Judiciary Committee to testify privately after months of attempts to haul her before Congress, including defying a subpoena to testify publicly this week. "I can assure you Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of these texts did these personal beliefs ever enter the realm of any action I've taken".

In an exchange with Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, chair of the House Oversight Committee, Strzok defended his "we'll stop" Trump text.

"You have to treat him and any witness before this committee with respect", the New York Democrat warned at the beginning of Thursday's crud-pit of a congressional hearing. Democrats even broke into applause after one of Strzok's particularly defiant answers, and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) told Strzok he believed he deserved "a purple heart" for enduring the Republican onslaught. As Catherine Herridge reports, she didn't answer any questions on the way in.

"Through it all, Strzok emerged as a largely unflappable, if unlikely, champion of the very bureau that removed him from his role in the Russian Federation investigation last July".

"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 worked on FBI investigations into both Clinton's use of an email server and potential co-ordination between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign.

In his opening remarks, Strzok, a career Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, set the stage for what was about to unfold.

"This decision is long overdue", Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte said in announcing the arrangement.

In one text, Strzok said "we'll stop" Trump in the midst of the 2016 presidential election. And my presumption, based on that awful, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States.

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 Sen. President Trump himself should be the one to bring this message to Putin. Other members of the panel are Rep. Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., who was sentenced past year to community service and anger-management classes for assaulting a reporter, and Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., whose infidelity as governor of SC made national headlines.

The Justice Department's "criminal charges provide hard evidence that Russian intel agents attacked America to boost their favorite candidates, undermine others, and influence our elections", Warren declared. Earlier, Strzok claimed "at no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took" in the FBI's probe of links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. "This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Trump".

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