Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok testified before House Judiciary and House Oversight Committee members Thursday and contradicted reports that Justice Department officials expressed concerns of blackmail over his extramarital affair with bureau lawyer Lisa Page, Breitbart reports.
On Thursday, the House Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary committees held a joint hearing on the Clinton email investigation in which they questioned FBI agent Peter Strzok. The hearing at multiple points spilled into outright chaos, as Republicans and Democrats feuded over the appropriateness of questions about a sensitive ongoing counter-intelligence investigation and whether or not to release a transcript of a previous closed-door hearing with Strzok (Democrats argued for it to be released in its entirety, and Republicans used a procedural vote to prevent that from happening).
Through the bedlam, one moment stood out. It came when Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, accused Strzok of lying under oath and compared his testimony to how the congressman imagined Strzok’s conversation with his wife about an affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page might have gone. Congressional Republicans have used text messages between Strzok and Page, in which both criticized Donald Trump in very harsh terms, as a basis for discrediting Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference, what role Trump’s campaign might have played in that interference, and whether or not the president attempted to obstruct an investigation into that interference.
The exchange kicks off with Gohmert accusing Strzok of lying about whether or not he took any inappropriate official action because of political bias:
“I watched you in the private testimony you gave. And I told some of the other guys, he is really good. He’s lying, he knows we know he’s lying, and he could probably pass a polygraph.”
At this point, indignant Democrats shouted that it was inappropriate to accuse a witness of lying without any evidence of that fact and asked Gohmert to withdraw his statement. He did not. A Democratic congressman then called what Gohmert had just done a “disgrace.” Then Gohmert said Strzok was the disgrace and brought up the affair with Page:
You’ve embarrassed yourself and 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 eye and lie to her about Lisa Page. Slate
STRZOK: Well, when it was kind of made very public by the media after it leaked late last year, but ma’am, if I could tell you, your premise that it makes it susceptible to blackmail – I never, never could have been blackmailed or coheres by the nature of that relationship. The nature of my patriotism and the nature of what I believe in this country, you could not, nobody could have made that.
Chris “Badger” Thomas is a Veteran who served our country as an Army Combat Medic.