Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, called into question the credibility of “smirking” FBI agent Peter Strzok’s congressional testimony on Thursday, saying he is a good liar and offering as proof that the official deceived his wife about an affair he had with FBI attorney Lisa Page.
A tense exchange involving Gohmert, Democrat members of the combined House Oversight and Government Reform and the House Judiciary committees and Strzok began when the Texas congressman accused the agent of lying about his bias against President Donald Trump.
“You come in here and you say, ‘I have no bias,’ and you do it with a straight face,” Gohmert said.
The lawmaker recounted telling some of his colleagues, “He is really good. He is lying. He knows we know he is lying, and he could probably pass a polygraph.”
Rhode Island Democrat Rep. David Cicilline interjected, saying, “That’s a disgrace!”
“No, the disgrace is what this man has done to our justice system!” Gohmert shot back. “There is the disgrace!”
“I’ve talked to FBI agents around the country,” he continued. “You’ve embarrassed them, you’ve embarrassed yourself, and I can’t help but wonder when I see you sitting there with your little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?”
Democrats immediately erupted with objections. Cicilline yelled, “Mr. Chairman, this is intolerable harassment of the witness,” and another called out, “You need your medication.”
Strzok eventually responded, saying that all the testimony that he was offering before Congress was truthful.
“I assure you under oath … I have always told the truth,” the FBI official said.
“The fact that you would question whether or not that was the sort of look I would engage with in a family member who I have acknowledged hurting goes more to a discussion about your character, and what you stand for, and what is going inside you,” he added.
In earlier testimony, Strzok told House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy that he was not removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation because of bias.
“I do not have bias,” he said. “My personal opinions in no way have ever impacted my (work).”
“Mr. Gowdy, my understanding of why I was kicked off was that based on the understanding of those texts, and the perception they might create,” Strzok said.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report released last month concerning the Hillary Clinton email investigation found Strzok’s anti-Trump texts “deeply” troubling.
“We were deeply troubled by text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations,” the report stated.
Further, one particular Strzok text promising “we’ll stop” Trump “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects,” the report said.
In texts released by the inspector general in December, Strzok described Trump during the campaign as a “loathsome human” and an “idiot,” and found the prospect of his being president “terrifying.”
Page, his mistress at the time, responded with a text that read, “There is no way he gets elected.”
Strzok responded to Page’s text: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office … that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
“Andy” apparently referred to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who served under former FBI Director James Comey.
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