Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok explains why he sent anti-Trump text

Peter Strzok the FBI agent facing criticism following a series of anti Trump text messages walks to gives a deposition before the House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Strzok whose anti-Trump

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies before the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on "Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election", on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Washington.

"I acknowledge that is absolutely their right, that is what makes our democracy such a vibrant process that it is", Strzok said.

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.

Strzok: "That text in no way suggested that I or the Federal Bureau of Investigation would take any action to influence the candidacy..."

When his speech concluded, Democrats in the room applauded. "Agent Strzok may not see it, but the rest of the country does".

"I don't recall writing that text", Strzok said during Thursday's open hearing with the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees.

"Well hang on a second Agent Strzok! We'll stop it", Strzok responded.

"Agent Strzok, that is a fantastic answer to a question that nobody asked", Gowdy fired back.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) said the text messages undeniably demonstrate bias and taint the FBI's investigations involving Trump and Clinton.

"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took", he said. This information had the potential to derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump.

Thai cave rescue sees four more boys freed
A person with knowledge of the rescue said just before the eleventh person was spotted, that 10 people had been brought out. Officials were not immediately available to comment on who had been brought out, and their condition was unclear.

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".

"I have the utmost respect for Congress's oversight role, but I truly believe that today's hearing is just another victory notch in Putin's belt and another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart", Strzok said. "It is not a witch hunt".

Strzok is attending the public hearing after he was also subpoenaed last week.

Strzok told lawmakers that he never attempted to use his power to try and prevent then-candidate Trump from winning the presidency.

The Justice Department's inspector general determined that while texts between the two were inappropriate, investigators "did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed". But the report said it found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision to not pursue criminal charges against Clinton.

Peter Strzok, who once worked on an FBI investigation into former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information, has become a target for Republicans trying to show the FBI is biased against Trump.

However, when Justice Department officials saw texts he exchanged with Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an affair, in which they disparaged Donald Trump, Mueller removed him from the investigation.

Strzok appeared before lawmakers in Congress last month for a closed-door interview.

Strzok pointed out that he was not under subpoena and appearing before the committee voluntarily, which appeared to infuriate Goodlatte even more.

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