FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from the special counsel's investigation of Russian involvement in the 2016 USA elections, testified before a joint hearing of two House committees. That text was at the forefront of the hours long back-and-forth with Republican lawmakers Thursday.
"In the majority's view, we do not have time to conduct oversight on nearly any national security issue - but we have hours on end to discuss Mr. Strzok's extramarital affair", Nadler said.
Strzok called it "horrible and disgusting behaviour", and said he was stating his opinion the electorate would "stop" a candidate like that.
Strzok's opinions about Trump dominated his Thursday hearing, as GOP lawmakers took him to task over his texts and pressed him - usually unsuccessfully - to reveal information about investigative steps and decisions he made in the Russian Federation probe. "The suggestion that I'm in some dark chamber somewhere in the Federal Bureau of Investigation would somehow cast aside all of these procedures, all of these safeguards, and somehow be able to do this is astounding to me - it simply couldn't happen".
The FBI agent went on to assail Republicans for corroding "what the FBI is in American society", and impairing its capacity to execute its mission. "You've embarrassed them, you've embarrassed yourself, and I can't help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk - how many times did you look so innocently into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa Page?".
Strzok responded to Gohmert's questioning and attacks by saying he "always told the truth".
One member of the circus included Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), a man Kimmel deemed a "buckethead".
Gowdy was repeatedly interrupted through the rest of his questions, while he and Strzok got into a heated exchange.
"That is who we are as the FBI", Strzok said in an animated riff that drew Democratic applause.
On Thursday, Strzok said the message was written late at night after Trump's campaign comments disparaging a slain USA soldier.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, threatened Strzok with contempt, claiming he was under subpoena.
In his most direct defense of the controversial texts, Strzok said he had written them "off-the-cuff" and that it was important to view them in the context of the heated election in 2016, during which Trump engaged in numerous outrageous, racially-charged feuds - including with the family of Muslim U.S. Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004. Strzok replied: "No, he's not".
"We asked the Committee staff to explain the scope of the investigation and provide sufficient notice that would allow her to prepare, which are normal conditions for congressional committees, but these committees have not followed the normal process", Jeffress said in a statement on July 9.
After the commotion died down, Gohmert used the remainder of his time to ask Strzok if he had spoken to Clinton more than once and to remark, incredulously, "So after throwing away what you have, with all the bias you have, you've never even gotten a thank you".
"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.