As our Allegra Kirkland and Tierney Sneed have reported, in far more eloquent terms, Thursday's joint interview of former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok, before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, was weird. "This was not about getting answers from Strzok".
At one point, Goodlatte told Strzok he could only consult with his own lawyer, not an Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer.
Democratic lawmakers responded with disgust.
Meadows and other members of the Oversight panel have been working with the Judiciary Committee in a joint inquiry that they say is meant to determine whether the early stages of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election were tainted by political bias.
On June 1, Judicial Watch filed a motion to order the Department of Justice to prevent Strzok and Page from deleting any records of incriminating communications. Strzok says he never allowed personal opinions to taint his work. "Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy".
At one point, Representative Louis Gohmert, a Texas Republican, invoked Strzok's personal life by alluding to the fact the texts were exchanged while he and Page were having an affair. The key has always been that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents should not allow their political opinions to influence their work - and for all of the wild accusations made about Strzok and Lisa Page, his lover, none have even come close to proving that their conversations were anything more than expressions of their own individual views.
The move comes after Strzok refused to answer a question from Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy.More news: The Tories must get United Kingdom housing in order
Earlier Friday during a press conference overseas with his British counterpart, Trump vowed to press Putin about his government's interference in the 2016 American election - though he appeared to leave open, as always, the possibility that he won't. "No he won't. We'll stop it".
Whether you believe Strzok's account of what he was thinking, the fact is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation said little about Russian meddling before Election Day 2016.
"They would not tolerate any improper behavior in me anymore than I would tolerate it in them", Strzok said. And my presumption, based on that terrible, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States. The process will take more than two years to complete, Judicial Watch said. "That is bias. Agent Strzok may not see it but the rest of the country does, and it is not what we want, expect or deserve from any law enforcement officer much less the Federal Bureau of Investigation". "It simply couldn't happen". Trump didn't do anything wrong, it's just one giant witch hunt! He described the texts as "hate filled and biased".
In his opening statement, Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it wasn't directed at one person or party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen.
"The moment special counsel Bob Mueller found out about Peter Strzok's text and emails he kicked him off of the investigation", Gowdy declared.
"But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".
Strzok expressed little regret for the most controversial text exchange with Page. In it, Strzok describes his reluctance to work on behalf of the special counsel, and that seemed to imply he didn't think there would be substantial findings of collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign team.