In Washington, D.C., it was 10 hours of fireworks in Congress as Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok faced off with House Republican lawmakers Thursday during a hearing convened by the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees.
And in a sign that Republicans are not eager to replay the nasty Strzok hearing, GOP lawmakers signaled Friday that they were unwilling to force Page to testify publicly - despite earlier indications that they would.
Strzok and Page had worked on the FBI's Russian Federation investigation and on the early days of Mueller's special counsel team. He served as a top Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence official and participated in both special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into allegations of collusion between Trump's campaign officials and Russian Federation and the probe into 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server to conduct official business as secretary of state. Strzok testified before congressional committees behind closed doors in late June before testifying Thursday in a public hearing.
"President Trump's continued refusal to condemn the Russians' attacks on our democracy, even after Special Counsel Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officials for interfering in the 2016 election, makes it clear that meeting with Putin would be both pointless and unsafe", Pelosi said.
The hearing represented a public culmination of a monthslong campaign by House Republicans who are critical of the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
"The fact that you would accuse me otherwise - the fact that you would question whether or not that was the sort of look I would engage with in a family member who I have acknowledged hurting - goes more to a discussion about your character and what you stand for and what is going inside you". "In a moment we will continue with the hearing but based on your refusal to answer the question, at the conclusion of the day, we will be recessing the hearing and you will subject to recall to allow the Committee to consider a contempt citation".
Here’s the Paul Manafort mugshot we’ve all been waiting for
Manafort's lawyers have asked a judge to relocate a criminal trial starting later this month because of pretrial publicity. Manafort's not required to wear a prison uniform and isn't confined to a cell from 8:30 a.m.to 10 p.m., Mueller said.
"He's a liar. I mean he is a good liar", Kallstrom said of Strzok during an interview on "The Evening Edit" on Thursday.
He said the Trump investigation originated not out of personal animus but rather from concern that Russia was meddling in the election, including what he said were allegations of "extraordinary significance" of a Russian offer of assistance to a Trump campaign member. He said Strzok's texts were "the flawless foil" for Republicans.
Democrats, however, agreed with the sentiment expressed by their colleague, California congressman Ted Lieu: "Let me start by saying, this is a stupid and ridiculous hearing". Right?!" Strzok replied, "No. "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind". He was removed from the Russian Federation investigation a year ago after the texts were discovered.
The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety.
Rep. Louie Gohmert has demonstrated beyond any doubt the basis for the charge that Strzok was biased in favor of Hillary Clinton, and because of that bias he chose not to pursue a documented intelligence breach of major proportions.