House Democrats are committed to turning FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s testimony before Congress into a clown show, interrupting the questions of their Republican colleagues and literally acting as a cheer squad for Strzok.
When House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., attempted to ask Strzok a question about the number of people he interviewed in the first week of the FBI’s Russian election interference investigation, Strzok refused to answer on the advice of the FBI’s lawyers.
“Based on that, I will not answer that question because it goes to matters related to the ongoing investigation,” Strzok said.
When House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., attempted to force Strzok to answer the question, arguing he must do so because he was subpoenaed by Congress, Strzok denied that he had been subpoenaed, claiming he had come to testify voluntarily. That, of course, didn’t sit well with the Republicans, who claimed Strzok had no “valid legal basis” for refusing to answer the question.
Then the Democrats did this:
Things went severely off the rails at Peter Strzok's hearings when Strzok refused to answer Trey Gowdy's question, stating his lawyers advised him not to answer any questions regarding ongoing investigations. pic.twitter.com/jODMMipbsI
— The Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) July 12, 2018
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., interrupted the questioning with several “point of order” interjections, which Goodlatte attempted to ignore. The Democrats contend that Republicans know they cannot ask questions about an ongoing federal investigation. The Republicans contend that they’re not asking specific questions about the investigation, and therefore Strzok ought to be compelled to answer or be held in contempt of Congress.
In a very stupid moment, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, asserted that Strzok was invoking “attorney-client privilege” and therefore shouldn’t be forced to answer Gowdy’s question. That’s an absurd objection. Strzok was not being asked to disclose information he holds in confidence with his lawyer. Goodlatte pointed out that Strzok isn’t even talking about his personal lawyer but is referring to the FBI general counsel. Strzok was being asked about the timing of the FBI Russia investigation and when it began to interview people — a question that does not touch upon information about the investigation specifically.
Strzok ultimately refused to answer the question, and Goodlatte threatened to hold him in contempt of Congress.
In another stupid moment, Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., made a parliamentary inquiry that was ruled out of order about holding former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer Gowdy’s questions when he was under subpoena before the House Intelligence Committee.
This was all an attempt to disrupt the flow of Gowdy’s questioning. When Gowdy finally managed to ask Strzok about his bias and the text messages vowing to “stop” Trump from becoming president, Strzok vehemently denied that his personal feelings affected the FBI investigations he was involved in.
Strzok claimed the “we’ll stop it” text he sent to his lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, referred to Americans in general rejecting Trump at the ballot box. He said his text was “written late at night, off the cuff.”
“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,” Strzok said, taking “great offense” to Gowdy’s questions.
FBI Agent Peter Strzok applauded by Democratic members of House Oversight Committee after passionate response to Rep. Trey Gowdy, saying Gowdy's accusation "deeply corrodes what the FBI is in American society, the effectiveness of their mission, and it is deeply destructive." pic.twitter.com/m2Hbc9kPPQ
— ABC News (@ABC) July 12, 2018
At the end of his answer, in which he accused the Republicans of attacking the FBI, Democrats erupted into applause.
The Democrats don’t want answers from Strzok. It’s clear from this hearing that they are there to protect him from tough questions from Republicans and cheer him on when he repeats their narrative about the Republicans undermining American democracy by questioning the FBI.
Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.
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