WASHINGTON — An FBI agent whose anti-Trump text messages fueled suspicions of partisan bias said at a bitterly contentious and occasionally chaotic hearing in Congress on Thursday that his work has never been tainted by politics, angrily rejecting Republican allegations that he set out to stop Donald Trump from becoming president.

Peter Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, telling lawmakers that texts he traded with an FBI lawyer in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election reflected personal views that he never once acted on.

“At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took,” Strzok said.

He insisted under aggressive questioning that an August 2016 text in which he said “We’ll stop” a Trump presidency followed Trump’s denigration of the family of a dead U.S. service member. He said it was his personal view, written late at night and off-the-cuff, of “horrible, disgusting behavior” by the Republican presidential candidate.

But, he added in a raised voice and emphatic tone, “It was in no way — unequivocally — any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate.” Some Democrats applauded after he finished speaking.

Republican members of the House judiciary and oversight committees grilled Strzok as they argued that the text messages exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page color the outcome of the Hillary Clinton email investigation and undercut the ongoing investigation into Russian election interference. Strzok, a seasoned counterintelligence agent, helped lead both investigations but has since been reassigned to human resources.

“Agent Strzok had Hillary Clinton winning the White House before he finished investigating her,” said Rep. Trey Gowdy, Republican chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. “Agent Strzok …read more

Source:: Deseret News – U.S. & World News

      

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