The Peter Strzok fiasco wrecks the GOP’s bogus conspiracy theory

The Peter Strzok fiasco wrecks the GOP’s bogus conspiracy theory

A House Judiciary Committee hearing quickly spiraled into chaos on Thursday when FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok said he couldn't answer a question related to the Russian Federation investigation because the FBI's lawyers had instructed him not to, leading the committee's chairman, Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., to threaten to hold Strzok in contempt.

But Goodlatte, while House Democrats repeatedly challenged his claims, threatened to file a criminal charge against Strzok for refusing to answer Russian Federation investigation questions. Considering Democrats agree with his motivations, not to mention the way he classified Trump voters as uneducated, smelly and bigoted in text messages to his mistress, the cheers aren't surprising.

The hearing got heated when chairman Bob Goodlatte ordered Strzok to answer a question asked by congressman Trey Gowdy as Democrat committee members complained Goodlatte did not have the authority to do so.

"I don't recall writing that text", Strzok added later, with Gowdy talking over him. Strzok also served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, before being removed by Mueller.

Strzok said on Thursday that his message, "was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process, for any candidate", and later said that "at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took".

Strzok angrily responded, saying the "we'll stop it" text came in response to campaign occurrences such as Trump insulting the immigrant father of a fallen USA soldier.

Strzok implored Republicans to appreciate the context of his text, which was sent late at night, shortly after the Republican nominee had "insulted the immigrant family of a fallen war hero" (i.e., the family of Khizr Muazzam Khan, who spoke at the Democratic National Convention).

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Strzok reiterated to lawmakers that, despite a trove of text messages from 2016 that seem to indicate he had an intense personal distaste for President Donald Trump, he has never allowed personal opinions to affect any of his official work at the agency. "No he won't. We'll stop it", Strzok replied. "My presumption based on that awful, disgusting behavior [was] that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States".

I can assure you, Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took. "I want to know what it meant, Agent Strzok".

"Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!"

In his opening remarks, Strzok defended Mueller's work and emphasized the threat of Russian election interference, clearly referencing the president in saying, "This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax".

Strzok is attending the public hearing after he was also subpoenaed last week.

After a fierce line of questioning from Gowdy, Strzok was given the opportunity to contextualize his text with Page.

The Justice Department's inspector general determined that while texts between the two were inappropriate, investigators "did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed". He appeared at a joint hearing before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee for several hours.

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