Numerous media's seasoned political analysts professed to hear nothing new inFBI agent Peter Strzok's congressional testimony Thursday.
Strzok has met with members of the House Judiciary Committee privately, but his hearing scheduled for Thursday is open. Both Strzok and Page were booted from Mueller's investigation past year after he discovered their texts.
Mr Strzok's case has been used by the president and many Republicans to discredit Mueller's investigation on alleged ties between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin. Strzok said he was not alone in holding political opinions, noting that colleagues in 2016 supported both Clinton and Trump but did not reflect those views on the job.
The hearing dissolved into chaos after Gohmert asked, "How many times did you look so innocently into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?".
Toward the end of his time, Gohmert criticized Strzok, saying he had spoken to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about Strzok's conduct.
Peter Strzok testified publicly for the first time since being removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team following the discovery of the texts previous year.More news: Djokovic tops Air K to reach semifinals
Trump - who mocks Page and Strzok as the "FBI lovers" - blasted Page's decision not to appear Thursday in a tweet, lamenting the "corruption on the other side" and again calling out Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do something about it. "No he won't. We'll stop it". He said the late-night, off-the-cuff text reflected his belief that Americans would not stomach such "horrible, disgusting behavior" by the presidential candidate.
"You need to understand that that was written late at night, off-the-cuff and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and my presumption based on that terrible disgusting behavior [was] that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States", Strzok said in explaining the text.
Strzok acknowledged that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it was not directed at one person or political party and included jabs not only at Trump but also at Clinton and Sen. But I will tell you this: at a certain point they're going to call me they're going to say "Let's make a deal". His lawyer has argued that the public hearing is an attempt by Republicans to "trap" Strzok, and they have urged the committee's Republicans to release the transcript of his closed-door interview. California Rep. Darrell Issa made Strzok read out his own texts, including some with profane language and one that calls Trump a "disaster".
Democrats upped the drama as well, yelling at the Republicans throughout the hearing. Guiliani saying that "all the results of the investigation" should "be dismissed" seems to imply that he believes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's charges against the 13 Russian nationals who are accused of interfering in the 2016 election, should also be dismissed.
"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text.
"That's a disgrace", Cicilline said.