Rudy Giuliani says smug Strzok's 'pathological hatred' has tainted entire Russian Federation probe

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Mr Strzok's case has been used by the president and many Republicans to discredit Mueller's investigation on alleged ties between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin.

For many viewers watching from home, either viewpoint was overshadowed by the stunning display of congressional dysfunction as the hearing descended into shouting matches between lawmakers and between Republicans and the witness.

"I'll tell you what, this investigation started flawed with the dossier", he concluded. President Trump is being investigated by people who possess pathological hatred for him.

Trump and his allies have suggested the texts are proof of a so-called deep state conspiracy against him, and that the Mueller probe is a politically motivated "witch hunt".

This is the second time Strzok has testified in front of the Committees.

"To suggest we can parse down the shorthand like they're some contract for a auto is simply not consistent with my or most people's use of text messaging", Strzok said, practically yelling at Gowdy. "There is collateral damage from these attacks that isn't even being taken into account".

On Friday, Page will sit down with the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform Committees, which have sought her testimony for seven months. Strzok further went on to emphasize that no text he sent would ever influence his conduct in an investigation against the president, and that Republican attempts to undermine the FBI were a "victory notch in Putin's belt". Mueller was appointed by a top Justice Department official following Trump's dismissal in May 2017 of FBI Director James Comey.

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"This investigation is not politically motivated", Strzok said.

In an explosive, hourslong congressional hearing Thursday, FBI agent Peter Strzok was defiant as Republicans unleashed blistering attacks, saying his anti-Trump sentiment - captured in personal text messages - is evidence of bias at the Justice Department. Some criticized Trump and some criticized Clinton.

Mr Strzok said under aggressive questioning that a much-discussed August 2016 text in which he vowed "we'll stop" a Trump candidacy followed Mr Trump's denigration of the family of a dead USA service member.

"That is who we are as the FBI", Strzok said in an animated riff that drew Democratic applause.

He said he had "expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election" and that at times his "criticism was blunt", but that it was not limited to Trump.

"It 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", Strzok added. He told lawmakers the texts in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election reflected personal views that he had never acted on, angrily rejecting Republican allegations that he had set out to stop Donald Trump from becoming president. An inspector general report last month blamed Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page for creating an appearance of impropriety through their texts but found that the outcome of the Clinton investigation wasn't tainted by bias.

Goodlatte threatened to hold Strzok in contempt after the committee devolved into a partisan brawl over whether Strzok could answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation. It is potentially punishable by imprisonment and a fine but requires several procedural steps.

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