Beneath the partisan posturing and fiery monologues, a House hearing Thursday on FBI agent Peter Strzok’s conduct delved into some key factual questions.
In a hearing jointly conducted by the Oversight and Judiciary committees, Republican lawmakers sharply questioned the embattled agent who oversaw the Hillary Clinton email server investigation as well as the beginning of the investigation into Russian meddling in the election, while Democrats defended him and criticized their GOP colleagues.
It was the first chance that Strzok has had to publicly respond to criticism of his work, both from the Justice Department’s inspector general, who looked into texts that Strzok sent to a colleague he was having an affair with, and from President Donald Trump, who has attempted to use those texts to discredit the Russia investigation.
How can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time, by former FBI Agent/Lover Peter Strzok? Read his hate filled and totally biased Emails and the answer is clear!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
The hearing became particularly heated at points, with Republicans threatening to hold Strzok in contempt for refusing to answer a question about the ongoing investigation due to FBI policy; Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert criticizing Strzok in starkly personal terms, wondering “how many times did you look innocently into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about” his affair; and Strzok arguing that he sent one controversial text because he was upset by Trump’s “unconscionable and disgusting and cruel” treatment of the parents of fallen soldier Humayun Khan.
But there were also several moments in the hearing in which Strzok and lawmakers discussed substantive questions about the two key investigations into Clinton and Trump.
Here’s a closer look at three moments in the hearing that mattered.
How Clinton’s use of a private server went from ‘negligent’ to ‘careless’
Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner grilled Strzok about how the wording of a statement criticizing Clinton for her use of a private email server was changed before it was issued.
What we know: In July 2016, Strzok, who was leading the F.B.I.’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, rephrased his description of Clinton’s decisions from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in a draft of a statement to be issued publicly by James Comey, who then headed the F.B.I.
How Strzok responded: He argued …read more
Source:: Time – Politics