Thursday, the Peter Strzok hearing was set for the House Committee. His lover, Lisa Page tried to avoid the hearing altogether but almost found herself in contempt. Strzok got into an exchange with Rep Trey Gowdy that was described by the Washington Times as “testy.”And that was the tamer moment of the hearing.
Angry Democrats also tried to hijack the testimony and created chaos. Frankly, it was a surprise that no one came to blows. But there were some extremely livid people in that chamber.
One Congressman said that the “side show” was “another victory notch in Putin’s belt.” Strzok claimed that the information on the Trump Dossier was from a “credible” source. He said he wasn’t biased in his investigation and that he knew that leaking it to the press would have played into our enemies’ hands to “tear America apart.”
Gee golly, Petey, what do you think is happening right now?
It started to get seriously ugly when Rep Gohmert said,
“I can’t help but wonder when I see you sitting there with your little smirk. How many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?”
Zing. Another moment of chaos.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 12, 2018
Rep Gowdy challenged Strzok over his anti-Trump texts, and talked about his dismissal from the Mueller team.
“It is not my understanding that [Mueller] kicked me off because of any bias, that it was was done on the appearance. If you want to represent what you said accurately, I am happy to answer that question, but I don’t appreciate what was originally said being changed.” Strzok
That lit the fuse. Rep Trey Gowdy, a former prosecutor, heatedly responded,
“I don’t give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok. I don’t appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations.” Rep Trey Gowdy
That was the tame part. Strzok also stated he didn’t “remember” texting the “stop Trump” message.
Fireworks exploded when Rep Bob Goodlatte demanded that Strzok answer how many people he interviewed during an 8 day period regarding the Mueller investigation. He refused to answer the question, stating that the FBI counsel had advised him not to answer it. Cue the firestorm.
“Mr. Strzok, you are under subpoena and are required to answer the question…” Rep Goodlatte
“I’m not under subpeona, as far as I know, I came here voluntarily.” Strzok
“Mr. Strzok, you have not stated a valid legal basis for not responding to a question directed to you by the United States House of Representatives. Either comply with the committee’s directive or refuse to do so, the latter of which will place you at risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability.” Rep Goodlatte
All of that set up a shouting match between Chairman Goodlatte and the Democrats at the hearing, with everyone demanding a point of order, and Rep Goodlatte struggling to retain control. Strzok repeatedly told Goodlatte that the FBI counsel advised him not to answer.
You can watch the exchange here in this video:
Was this a fight that was pre-planned by the Democrats? Stonewalling by the FBI is obvious here. Strzok’s arrogance, Democrats obstructionist moves to protect him, all of it speaks to the idea that he knew they would find a way to help him avoid the questions that they all knew the Republicans would ask.
With that kind of block and tackle formation, how will the Committee ever get to the bottom of this mess? Lisa Page refused to come in with Strzok, and was on the edge of contempt herself. She will face deposition on Friday.