Watch Live: Hearing Devolves Into Chaos After Strzok Refuses To Answer Questions

Update 2: The Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel summed up the morning's debacle best:

"On the question of Strzok's bias and whether we should believe he didn't act on it.

The question every American should ask is this: How would you feel if he'd expressed such disgust toward you, and was also investigating you?"

*  *  *

Update 1: The hearing has begun...

Things are already heating up at the Strzok hearing, where Democratic and Republican Congressman have devolved into shouting at one another after Peter Strzok refused to answer a question from Rep. Trey Gowdy.

Goodlatte insisted that Strzok must answer since he is appearing under subpoena. Strzok replied that he was instructed by FBI attorneys not to answer questions about an ongoing investigation (Gowdy had asked Strzok how many people he interviewed during the summer of 2016 in connection with the nascent Trump probe).

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler interrupted him, saying Strzok had a right to refuse questions about an ongoing probe according to an arcane rule in the attorney's handbook. Lawmakers then erupted into cross-shouting as Nadler and other Democrats insisted that Strzok had a right to refuse to answer, then insisted that he had a right to consult with an FBI attorney. The whole time, Goodlatte insisted his colleagues were "out of order" and denied their "point of order" objections.

At one point, Strzok said he had a right to refuse questions because he believes he's appearing voluntarily and isn't under subpoena. Nadler tried to call the hearing to adjourn.

As of 11:15 am ET, it continues, with Gowdy ripping into the witness about the contents of his texts, which he reportedly sent before the investigation had begun in earnest.

"You are the lead investigator, you originated the investigation, you are the point of contact, you drafted the document, & here you are before you interviewed a single solitary witness saying 'F Trump,'" Gowdy said.

Strzok has insisted that he was not let go from the Mueller probe because of "bias" but because of "appearances" and that he at no time was biased in his investigation.

In the crossfire, a motion has been called by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell to subpoena Steve Bannon to answer questions that he had previously refused to answer. Several Democrats pointed out that Bannon refused to answer questions when he was appearing under subpoena, and it somehow got wrapped up in the debate, which has now continued for nearly a half hour. As the hearing wore on, Republicans threatened to hold Strzok in contempt.

* * *

  • *GOODLATTE: STRZOK, OTHERS TURNED SYSTEM OF JUSTICE ON ITS HEAD
  • *PETER STRZOK BEGINS TESTIMONY ON TEXT MESSAGES AT HOUSE HEARING

* * *

Despite President Trump hearing rumors that the "FBI loverbirds" were getting cold feet, FBI agent Peter Strzok is finally appearing to publicly testify before the House Judiciary Committee. The hearing begins at 10 am ET.

Strzok, who has been accused of committing "treason" by Trump, is expected to be grilled about his anti-Trump text messages sent to his then-mistress, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, during the 2016 campaign. In one text message, Strzok told Page they would "stop" Trump from becoming president. After the text messages came to light, Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, and reportedly put on desk duty.

Watch the testimony live below:

In a report released earlier this year, the DOJ's inspector general found no "documentary of testimonial evidence" to suggest that political bias impacted the investigation, though Trump has repeatedly pointed out that the details of the IG investigation seem to contradict the conclusion. Lawyers for Page said Thursday that she would also comply with the subpoenas.

According to his prepared testimony, Strzok will blame everything on, who else: Vladimir Putin: "today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart."

Here are some other excerpts:

"In the summer of 2016, I was one of a handful of people who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with members of the Trump campaign."

"This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump. But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind."

Strzok: "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."

The reporting on those remarks has raised some interesting questions.

In a letter,  Strzok's attorney reportedly said his client may not be able to answer some questions about the Russia probe because he and his client were unable to get a meeting with the FBI and the Hill to discuss which topics would be off limits. Meanwhile, House Democrats are calling on House Republicans to release Strzok's closed-door testimony, and have released some statistics about the questions that Strzok was asked.

Comments

nmewn bigkahuna Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:18 Permalink

Isn't just fascinating how the main counter-intel dude at the FBI who co-wrote Hillary's exoneration letter for breaking KNOWN laws & statutes was also the main counter-intel dude going after Trump for NOT breaking any KNOWN laws or statutes?

Simply fascinating  ;-)

In reply to by bigkahuna

bigkahuna nmewn Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

Amazing how we all get to watch all of this malfeasance going down. The fbi can commit any crime it wants, so can the politicians and .gov bureaucrats. We do this kind of subversion and we'll end up in the pokey - not at meaningless trials or getting book deals.

None of these people are even a bit modest - no shame. Sociopaths, the lot of them. Not even the people who are supposedly investigating the fbi/doj are expressing any shame.

In reply to by nmewn

overbet Freeze These Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:40 Permalink

Who gives a fuck about reuniting a kid with their criminal parent? Dont libtards care about the kid's well being? Why so desperate to reunite the kid with a criminal adult? In case you didnt know a criminal parent's influence usually creates a criminal kid. Do libtards like to place innocent children into positions that have a high probability of turning them into criminals by reuniting them with criminal influencing parents?

In reply to by Freeze These

JimmyJones Keyser Thu, 07/12/2018 - 10:51 Permalink

I can smell the BS on his breath, its nasty.  Traitor, lying Traitor.

Is it me or does the whole "national Security" reason to not testify need to come to a end.  This guy claims he can't answer because of a on going investigation.  That Mofo just gave congress a middle finger, hold him in contempt already, show some teeth.

In reply to by Keyser

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In reply to by Got The Wrong No

HopefulCynical Got The Wrong No Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:29 Permalink

Shitlibs are cheering these smug little shitboxes - and the larger percentage of the public which is disgusted by the double standards sees THAT, too.

I continue to think the likely reason for the delay in dropping the hammer is twofold: to not give the shitlibs anything to rally around going into midterms, and to let these arrogant fucks show the whole world exactly who & what they really are.

GET YOUR ASSES OUT AND VOTE STRAIGHT-TICKET GOP. Denying the Democrats control of either house is vital to Trump's ability to drop that hammer. The GOPe wants Trump gone too, but they don't dare impeach him themselves, else they join the Whigs in the Who DaFuq Cares? pile.

In reply to by Got The Wrong No

clade7 I am Groot Thu, 07/12/2018 - 15:11 Permalink

You gotta sorta appreciate the cut of this guys jib...weak little chin, some GummyBear trim, nice fat pension and court appointed rim....yeah, he made the most of what he had to work with so far...

 

Not a one of us normal Fall Guys would have fared so well, so a guy has to fist bump the Pete here on the technicalities....

In reply to by I am Groot

I am Groot clade7 Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:01 Permalink

I've been under investigation and persecuted by the same dirty Fed's like this dirtbag Strzok for whistle blowing. I would have gotten better results just turning my evidence over to the Russians or the Chinese. All of these Deep State motherfuckers should be executed for sedition and conspiracy to commit sedition. Or robbed like Seth Rich.

In reply to by clade7

konadog JRobby Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:25 Permalink

They don't think, they know. Kongress needs to grow some mf'ing balls and de-fund and dismantle the whole corrupt, criminal agency. We'll see how many show up when there are no paychecks. Then the Stasi will come to understand who is in charge. Until then, they're right to think what they do.

In reply to by JRobby

el buitre JRobby Thu, 07/12/2018 - 12:53 Permalink

Obviously Trump wants this shit show to continue since his constitutional powers as president, and without using any extra-constitutional EO's, could put an end to it almost instantly in so many ways.  For example, the Repubocrat majority on the committees could hold Schlock in contempt since he refused to answer a question and did not invoke his constitutional 5th amendment rights.  If he thinks that there is some obscure law that gives him that right, let him sit in the tank w/o bail until the SCOTUS figures it out next May, while he is deprived of extra-marital skank rights.  If any DoJ supervisory attorney refuses to enforce his arrest, Trump could just fire them until he found one or appointed one who could and did.  Great way to clean house.  I understand that the Donald is very good at firing people on non-reality TV shows.  So this is just one of many examples that Trump could put an end to this shit show and put some real heat on these seditious scum.  So the question arises, why doesn't he?  Is he playing Xn dimensional chess?  Should we "trust Sessions" and "follow Bolton" as the obviously pro-Zionist Q Anon suggests?  BTW, why hasn't a special grand jury been invoked to investigate these potential crimes and issue indictments if warranted?  I think the all the politicians and bureaucrats are afraid of losing total control of the narrative.

In reply to by JRobby

Got The Wrong No el buitre Thu, 07/12/2018 - 13:18 Permalink

You speak Clown on many levels, but I will just call you on one. A special counsel infested by DC swamp rats is what the swamp wants. It would take forever and things would be drawn out past 2020. Sessions new this, so he appointed Huber from Utah to investigate and prosecute the ever mounting 40,000 indictments that have been filed since Trump was elected. Huber has 470 investigators working as we speak and I expect prosecutions to start as soon as Rod Rosenstein is removed. That should happen very soon. At that point, Trump will have the top three positions at the DOJ behind him. There will be no more sandbagging of info and Trump will not have to get involved with looking partisan and enforcing an EO to declassify documents. Optics are important. Trust The Plan. 

Apparently, you really don't follow Q. Clowns will be Clowns

In reply to by el buitre

Winston Smith 2009 el buitre Thu, 07/12/2018 - 15:39 Permalink

"Obviously Trump wants this shit show to continue since his constitutional powers as president, and without using any extra-constitutional EO's, could put an end to it almost instantly in so many ways."

Nope. They (ALL Dems and, secretly, most pro-swamp RINOs, RINOs being a large percentage of so-called Republicans) want Trump impeached in any way possible to make it less likely he can succeed in getting a second term or to further castrate him in his first term, currently going the BS obstruction of justice route about the firing of Comey, a firing which Rosenstein himself recommended!

If Trump does ANYTHING like firing Rosenstein, Mueller or significantly using his executive powers to end this BS witch hunt, the yells of obstruction will rise even further, MUCH further.

Since they will find nothing because there's nothing to find, it's best to just let them twist in the wind with no results, thereby making the farce even more obvious to the LARGE indy voters block who even now are becoming more contemptuous of it.

In reply to by el buitre

Mittens is a god Free This Thu, 07/12/2018 - 14:28 Permalink

You have made a break through today Monkey faced boy. First you learned how to Google something like Communism and Socialism and that they are not pejoratives but political philosophy’s. Second you have admitted to the world that you whole Whole heartedly believe in Socialized Cops and Firemen, but not Doctors. Probably cause you like blowing sweaty men in uniform. Thirdly you have learned you can’t win an argument with somebody like me as your limited intelligence is unable to overcome the magnetism of my absolute brilliance. You will never be able to rid the world of “My Kind” you simply don’t have and will never have that kind of power and we can all be thankful for that.  I am sorry you were only given just a modest mind by god but somebody had to tell you.

In reply to by Free This

Mittens is a god Free This Thu, 07/12/2018 - 15:18 Permalink

you are ZeroHedges very own authority on having their head so far up there ass they can see light. You see only as you wish, nothing else. Nothing past the end of your own nose. I am sorry you were not born brilliant like me but somebody had to tell you.

Apparently the destruction of the socialist darling wash incomplete as you seem drowning it it at the moment. Maybe it was something else you witnessed. Fuck everybody is a socialist in your weak flabby mind.

In reply to by Free This