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GOP chairman calls out Democrats in opening statement of Strzok hearing

Setting the tone for Thursday's House Judiciary Committee hearing featuring former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., called on his Democratic colleagues to put themselves in President Donald Trump's place and imagine what it would be like to be investigated by a biased and hostile investigator.

"We want the FBI and the Department of Justice to be off the front pages and to return to doing what they are best at — battling crime, terrorism, and espionage and protecting all of us from harm," Goodlatte said. "We don't want to read text message after text message dripping with bias against one of the two presidential candidates. We don't enjoy finding compelling evidence that the FBI director had predetermined the outcome of the case months in advance."

Strzok's anti-Trump text messages became the focus of congressional investigators who believe his personal bias affected his handling of the Clinton email investigation and the Russia collusion counterintelligence investigations. Among texts referring to Trump as a "douche" and an "idiot," Strzok, an adulterer, texted his lover, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, "we'll stop it," referring to the possibility that Trump would become president.

Goodlatte asked his fellow lawmakers how they would respond if they were being investigated and their investigator was found to both be opposed to their campaign and have pledged to "stop it."

"Imagine if YOU were under investigation, and the investigator hated YOU, disparaged YOU in all manner of ways, and fraternized with another employee working on YOUR case who also hated YOU, denigrated YOUR supporters and made crucial investigative decisions on how YOUR case should be treated and eventually adjudicated," Goodlatte said.

"Would anyone sitting here today believe that this was an acceptable state of affairs, particularly at an agency whose motto is 'fidelity, bravery, and integrity?' I think not."

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