Published: Fri, July 13, 2018
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Democratic lawmaker says Peter Strzok deserves Purple Heart for enduring hearing

Democratic lawmaker says Peter Strzok deserves Purple Heart for enduring hearing

One message that has received particular attention, and is likely to be discussed at the hearing, is an August 8, 2016 text in which Strzok, discussing with Page the prospect of a Trump win, says, "No".

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman presiding over the joint committee hearing, tried to force Strzok to answer the question from Gowdy regarding the number of witnesses interviewed as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into President Donald Trump's campaign last summer.

Strzok again stated he could not answer and Goodlatte said the Committee would consider a contempt citation.

So today we saw, for instance, Rep. Trey Gowdy badgering Strzok about the meaning of individual words in his late-night text messages to his girlfriend, using Gowdy's patented prosecutorial technique of shouting a question at a witness, and then when the witness begins to answer, interrupting and shouting a different question at a louder volume.

Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen found himself in hot-water Thursday among America's fearless service men and women; bizarrely saying anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok deserves a Purple Heart over his escalating scandal. In a minutes-long retort, he called Gowdy's and his Republican allies' allegations of bias and improper actions "deeply destructive".

"If you can't control yourself", Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman charged Gowdy, "how do you expect this committee to control itself?" Jerry Nadler of NY.

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Mr. Strzok again said his use of the word "impeachment" does not mean he had already decided the outcome of the Russian Federation investigation.

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

That comment caused an uproar at the hearing, and one congresswoman even shouted, "what is wrong with you, you need your medication!"

"I understand his point is, 'Well, that bias didn't infiltrate into my work, into my conduct in the professional capacity, ' but you can understand why, when you look at the language of those texts, that it's very easy to point to a bias that this F.B.I. agent was expressing", Chalian continued.

Strzok said that while the texts reflected his personal beliefs at the time, they did not "ever enter into the realm of any action I took". That difficulty aside, Strzok's claim that what he meant in saying "we'll stop it" was that voters won't elect Trump is ludicrous.

You need to understand 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 terrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States.

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"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".

On another, he said the "IG Report totally destroys James Comey and all of his minions including the great lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page".

Goodlatte told Alisyn Camerota on CNN's "New Day" Thursday morning that Page had agreed to an interview Friday. To Republicans, those text messages are the smoking gun that proves Trump is utterly blameless and the entire investigation into him was tainted from the start and must be shut down.

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.

At Emptywheel, national security journalist Marcy Wheeler characterized the Strzok hearing as a "sideshow", weeks after Wheeler herself was interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation about evidence that was then incorporated into the Mueller probe. 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.

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