"As someone who loves this country and cherishes its ideals, it is profoundly painful to watch and even worse to play a part in".
The ranking Democrat on the panel, Jerrold Nadler of NY, urged Republicans not to use the Strzok hearing to attack special counsel Robert Mueller. And, in additional texts, he called Trump a "disaster", "abysmal", and an "idiot".
He also flatly rejected the president's characterizations of Mueller's work and the threat of Russian election interference, saying, "This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax".
Strzok, who has already spoken to the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees behind closed doors, is expected to testify publicly before the panels Thursday. Strzok said, but was cut off by Gowdy. "It is not a hoax".
Chalian was referring to an explosive text exchange between Strzok and Federal Bureau of Investigation official Lisa Page, with whom he was reportedly having an affair, in which Strzok called then-candidate Donald Trump's behavior "horrible" and "disgusting".
Strzok sought to explain his texts, including when he told Page "we'll stop" Trump, which he said was written in response to Trump's attacks on a Gold Star family during the 2016 campaign. House lawmakers subpoenaed her to appear for a private interview and warned her that they would begin the process of holding her in contempt if she does not show this week.
Strzok said he was embarrassed by the texts, but that they did not represent his or the FBI's work ethic.
As Gohmert went through his speaking time at a hearing on Thursday with the agent accused of anti-Trump bias, the Texas Republican sparred with another lawmaker, who called his statements a "disgrace". Gowdy said, interrupting Strzok.More news: TS Chris to become hurricane off NC coast
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The hearing got heated when chairman Bob Goodlatte ordered Strzok to answer a question asked by congressman Trey Gowdy as Democrat committee members complained Goodlatte did not have the authority to do so.
Peter Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team following the discovery of the texts past year.
The committee devolved into chaos once again as Gowdy tried to support his line of questioning - which he could not.
"Are you kidding me?!" an incredulous Mr. Gowdy fired back.
Representative David Cicilline told Strzok he is being used as "a prop, so they can promote an narrative in an ongoing effort to distract from the serious investigation by the special counsel that is closing in on the Trump inner circle".
"I do not have bias", he continued, adding that he believed he was sacked not because his personal opinions impacted his work, but because the texts gave the "perception" of bias. And many Democrats say actions taken by law enforcement during the campaign season - including announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton just days before the election - actually wound up harming the Democratic candidate and aiding the Republican candidate, Trump.
"As House Judiciary Republicans spend half the day or longer publicly flogging Peter Strzok", wrote Wheeler, "know that all that flogging can not change the fact that key evidence in Mueller's possession, evidence which I suspect implicates the president directly, has absolutely no tie to Peter Strzok at all".