A joint House hearing to question an FBI agent who worked on investigations involving both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton quickly devolved into chaos as Republicans demanded he answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation.
House Democrats demanded that former Trump campaign chief Stephen Bannon be called to testify to Congress as a counterpoint to Thursday's hearing with embattled FBI Agent Peter Strzok. Multiple GOP lawmakers, including Goodlatte and Gowdy, pointed out that Page has known for more than six months that the committees wanted to interview her; they also argued that she had all the information she needed for an unclassified interview far earlier in the day Tuesday than her lawyer claimed.
In his opening statement, Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it wasn't directed at one person or party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen.
"In the majority's view, we do not have time to conduct oversight on nearly any national security issue - but we have hours on end to discuss Mr. Strzok's extramarital affair", Nadler said. "When I see you looking with a little smirk, I wonder how many times did you look so innocently into your wife's eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page", Gohmert began. "You need your medication", said Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey.
"This is about promoting a narrative, you're a prop", said Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I.
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"I do not withdraw it, he is not a member of Congress, it's not a violation of the rule", Gohmert responded.
Democrats loudly objected to Goodlatte's attempts to force Strzok to answer Gowdy's first question about how many witnesses were interviewed in the opening days of Russian Federation probe.
"If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would".
At one point, Strzok refused to answer questions, citing a directive by Federal Bureau of Investigation attorneys, leading the chairman to threaten him with contempt of Congress. "I never think that works well for a witness", the host continued.
"We'll stop it", Strzok texted Page in August 2016 - apparently referring to the prospect of Trump being elected president, according to a June report by the inspector general. Strzok said he was not alone in holding political opinions, noting that colleagues in 2016 supported both Clinton and Trump but did not reflect those views on the job. He said the text, written late at night and off-the-cuff, reflected his belief that Americans would not stomach such "horrible, disgusting behaviour" by the presidential candidate.
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"Not at all", a defiant Strzok said.
Page's appearance follows Strzok's explosive public hearing appearance on Thursday, where he tangled openly with Republican lawmakers. "No he won't. We'll stop it".
Strzok, who has already spoken to the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees behind closed doors, is expected to testify publicly before the panels Thursday.
After defying a congressional subpoena Wednesday, Page has agreed to meet with congressmen in closed-door sessions Friday and again on Monday. "You had the angry Republicans who didn't make the case that bias tainted the [Robert Mueller] probe, the high-dudgeon Democrats who have contempt for the other side".
"[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right?"
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