'FBI lover' agent: Attacks on Federal Bureau of Investigation a 'victory' for Putin

U.S. President Donald Trump with Attorney General Jeff Sessions

U.S. President Donald Trump with Attorney General Jeff Sessions

"I will not, based on direction of the FBI ... answer that question, because it goes to matters which are related to the ongoing investigations being undertaken by the special counsel's office", Strzok said.

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) echoed Goodlatte's ultimatum during a press conference Thursday.

"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text.

"I think it's important when you look at those texts that you understand the context in which they were made and the things going on across America", said Strzok.

Mueller reassigned Strzok after the Justice Department discovered highly political text messages that he sent Page during the 2016 election cycle.

"I can assure you Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took".

In response, Sen. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia) snapped, "Mr. Strzok, you are under subpoena and are required to answer the question".

But Republicans lambasted the embattled FBI agent, accusing him of "textbook bias" in his handling of the Clinton and Trump investigations.

'A great meeting': Trump wants North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies to double defence spending
The alliance lists the U.S.as spending an estimated 3.5 percent of its GDP on its military budget this year. Duda said he would be "shocked" if Trump made any move would decrease the region's security.

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep.

"We were deeply troubled by text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations", the Justice Department's inspector general wrote in its June report.

"It was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero", Strzok said, "and my presumption based on that frightful, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States". He said it was not a declaration that he or the Federal Bureau of Investigation would improperly interfere with the electoral process.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear on Capitol Hill on Thursday, but did not comply with the order because Congress hadn't given her "sufficient time to prepare".

Goodlatte late Wednesday had threatened to begin contempt proceedings against Page if she did not agree to one of two options: Appear with Strzok for a public hearing on Thursday or show up for an interview on Friday.

Ahead of the hearing, Nadler and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement Wednesday knocking the questions Republicans had asked of Strzok in the closed session, including queries on his extramarital affair with Page and his vote in 2016.

In his opening remarks, Strzok defended Mueller's work and emphasized the threat of Russian election interference, clearly referencing the president in saying, "This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax".

One message that has received particular attention, and is likely to be discussed at the hearing, is an August 8, 2016 text in which Strzok, discussing with Page the prospect of a Trump win, says, "No".

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