GOP reps threaten maligned Federal Bureau of Investigation agent with contempt in House hearing

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies before the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing

Strzok played major roles in investigations into both Hillary Clinton's private email server and potential coordination between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

Gohmert initially said he did not intend to bring up the fact that Strzok cheated on his wife, SEC official Melissa Hodgman, with Federal Bureau of Investigation attorney Lisa Page as he questioned the embattled Federal Bureau of Investigation agent on Capitol Hill Thursday.

Strzok testified before the House in a closed-door hearing in June, where Republicans railed against his credibility in claiming that his texts with Page were not evidence that he meant to block Trump from the presidency, as his critics have said an August 2016 message suggests.

FBI Director Chris Wray says employees who were singled out for criticism in the report have been referred to internal disciplinary officials.

In perhaps the most dramatic outburst, congressman Louie Gohmert raised the agent's extramarital affair: "I can't help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk - how many times did you look so innocent into your wife's eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page?".

The remark caused an eruption in the room, with some members saying it was "outrageous" and one female lawmaker, later identified on social media as New Jersey Democratic Rep.

"You need your medication", Rep.

The unsubstantiated accusations drew forceful objections from Democrats, including from Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, who called Gohmert's comments a "disgrace".

"If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would".

The partisan fighting began from the very first question of the day, which prompted Goodlatte to threaten holding Strzok in contempt amid Democratic protests over whether Strzok could answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation. Stzrok wasn't "contrite" about his texts, which do show bias against Trump, but House Republicans promised to uncover facts, he said, and in 10 hours, "no proof was offered that Strzok did something acting on bias". "What does Trump support smell like Mister Strzok?"

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On Thursday, Strzok said the message was written late at night after Trump's campaign comments disparaging a slain USA soldier.

California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa of California took the step of asking Strzok to read his own text messages out loud at the hearing, including when he called Trump a "douche".

Plus, he said, both investigations were handled by large teams.

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.

Page's appearance follows Strzok's explosive public hearing appearance on Thursday, where he tangled openly with Republican lawmakers.

"I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart", Strzok said.

"Ex-FBI LAYER Lisa Page today defied a House of Representatives issued Subpoena to testify before Congress!"

Goodlatte eventually let the hearing of the body's judiciary and oversight committees to proceed without calling the panel into recess.

Her lawyer said Page had not been allowed to review documents she needed to prepare.

"[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right?" Democrats objected to Goodlatte's repeated attempts to get Strzok to answer.

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