On Thursday, FBI agent Peter Strzok tore into House Republicans during a hearing for suggesting that his anti-Trump texts were proof of bias against Trump. His defense drew loud applause at the end of the hearing.
Strzok was testifying before two House committees because Republicans wanted to grill him on the text messages he sent during the 2016 campaign that were critical of Trump.
He stated, “At no time, in any of these texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took.”
He also added that “multiple layers” of agents above and below him at the FBI would not have allowed any “improper behavior.”
He stated, “They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me any more than I would tolerate it in them. That is who we are as the FBI, and the suggestion that I, in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI, would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards, and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me.”
According to Strzok, the Republicans’ accusation that the FBI was biased against then-candidate Trump during the 2016 campaign “deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive.”
During the hearing, Republicans focused on one particular text between now former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Strzok. In the text message, Page asked, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” To which Strzok replied, “We’ll stop it.”
Republicans believed that exchange was evidence that Strzok took official action to prevent Trump from getting elected.
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Strzok explained that the text messages came after Trump insulted the family of Khizr Muazzam Khan.
He stated, “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.”
He continued, “My presumption, based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, [was] that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States. It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate.”
He added, “I take great offense and I take great disagreement to your assertion of what that was or wasn’t.”
Below is the video of Strzok’s testimony:
FBI Agent Peter Strzok applauded by Democratic members of House Oversight Committee after passionate response to Rep. Trey Gowdy, saying Gowdy's accusation "deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive." pic.twitter.com/m2Hbc9kPPQ
— ABC News (@ABC) July 12, 2018
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