"As House Judiciary Republicans spend half the day or longer publicly flogging Peter Strzok", wrote Wheeler, "know that all that flogging can not change the fact that key evidence in Mueller's possession, evidence which I suspect implicates the president directly, has absolutely no tie to Peter Strzok at all".
Gowdy seized on one message that has received particular attention from right-wing media outlets, an August 8, 2016, text in which Strzok, discussing with Page the prospect of a Trump win, says, "No".
"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.
Strzok had told Gowdy he was unable to answer a question related to the Russian Federation probe, saying he had been instructed not to comment on matters related to an ongoing investigation. But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton.
An argument ensued between Goodlatte and Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), the committee's ranking member, who contended that Gowdy was putting Strzok in an "impossible position". Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the committee chairman. "But those concerns were not specific in my mind to NY". Page left the FBI earlier this year; Strzok is the focus of an internal investigation that could lead to his firing, but he is still technically an employee of the bureau.
Gowdy was repeatedly interrupted through the rest of his questions, while he and Strzok got into a heated exchange. It is generally agreed that his text messages were problematic, regardless of if you think this reflects corruption and bias in all law enforcement or the Mueller probe.
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At one point, Strzok said he didn't appreciate an assertion from Gowdy, who retorted, "I don't give a damn what you appreciate". I'll never get exhausted of saying this: you people lost. "We don't want to read text message after text message dripping with bias against one of the two presidential candidates".
"You need to understand that that was written late at night, off the cuff, and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, 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". "Many contained expressions of concern for the security of our country-opinions that were not always expressed in terms I am proud of.But let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took".
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". It's an embarrassing chapter in the FBI's history-and they're still dealing with the fallout.
Krishnamoorthi, during a hearing with the House Oversight and Judiciary committees, was walking Strzok through a number of sections in the recent Justice Department Inspector General report on the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigation.
You don't have to like Peter Strzok, or James Comey, or Robert Mueller, or anyone else involved in these various investigations. 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.
"To my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, please replace President Trump's name with your own name in a small sample of things Mr. Strzok has said", he said.