The longtime FBI agent helped lead both the Trump campaign and Clinton email investigations at various points in 2016 and was later part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.
"That is who we are as the FBI", Strzok said in an animated riff that drew Democratic applause.
The hearing got heated when chairman Bob Goodlatte ordered Strzok to answer a question asked by congressman Trey Gowdy as Democrat committee members complained Goodlatte did not have the authority to do so.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) then raised a motion to subpoena Bannon, demanding that Bannon appear before the Congress and answer questions.
Goodlatte threatened to hold Strzok in contempt after the committee devolved into a partisan brawl over whether Strzok could answer questions about the Russian Federation investigation.
Strzok has met with members of the House Judiciary Committee privately, but his hearing scheduled for Thursday is open. He first offered to testify publicly last month following the release of a report by the Justice Department inspector general that singled him out for strong criticism.
I'll never get exhausted of saying this: you people lost.
"Like many people, I had and expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election. opinions that were not always expressed in terms I am proud of", he said.
The hearing exposed clear partisan divides in the House judiciary and oversight committees, as Democrats accused Republicans of trying to divert attention from Trump's ties to Russian Federation by excessively focusing on Strzok. "If I were permitted to answer, I would".
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Republicans, unsatisfied with Strzok's explanations Thursday, remained on the offensive throughout the hearing.
In his opening statement, Strzok said he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage Trump but never contemplated leaking it and that the focus put on him by Congress is misguided and plays into "our enemies' campaign to tear America apart". "I don't appreciate having an FBI agent with an unprecedented level of animus working on two major investigations in 2016".
"My presumption [was] based on that terrible, disgusting behavior that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States, " he said.
"Of course I do", said Peter Strzok.
Trump himself has launched personal attacks against the two Federal Bureau of Investigation officials, including a Wednesday evening tweet that asked "how can the Rigged Witch Hunt proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on, for an extended period of time" by Strzok.
In one exchange, Ms. Page, who also worked on both investigations, said to Mr. Strzok that Trump is "not ever going to become president, right?"
As the eighth hour of the hearing was underway, Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.) brought up an earlier, tense faceoff between Strzok and Gowdy over comments Trump had made during the 2016 campaign about a Gold Star military family.
So in short: The IG report found that top officials at the FBI believe bias at the NY office put the bureau in the situation that led to an investigatory action that likely changed the result of the election.
Goodlatte said he issued a subpoena to compel Page to talk to lawmakers Wednesday, but her attorney said she would not appear. (The investigation was handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller in mid-2017.) Republicans quickly objected and threatened to hold Strzok in contempt. Democrats noted that it was unusual that Strzok be asked to disclose such details in a public setting.