Republican lawmakers who grilled an FBI agent and accused him of being biased against President Donald Trump got a taste of their own medicine thanks to Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).
During Thursday’s hearing, FBI special agent Peter Strzok defended himself against congressional Republicans who accused him of being too biased against the president when Strzok sent anti-Trump text messages in 2016.
The texts included saying “we’ll stop” Trump and also “F Trump.” Strzok said the messages were in response to Trump’s attacks on the family of a fallen Muslim war hero.
“At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs enter into the realm of any action I took,” Strzok testified. “The suggestion that I’m in some dark chamber somewhere in the FBI 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.”
Connolly pointed out the hypocrisy of GOP members saying the agent could not perform his duties while also being critical of Trump.
“You’re under oath, I want you to say yes or no,” Connolly told Strzok during the hearing. “The following email: ’Character matters, @RealDonaldTrump is obviously not going to win but he can still make an honorable move, step aside and let someone else try.′ Did you write that email?”
“I don’t believe I did,” Strzok replied.
“No, you didn’t,” Connolly said. “Republican senator Ben Sasse wrote that email. Another unforgivable sin, he should be here as well apparently.”
Connolly didn’t stop there.
″‘My wife Julia and I, we have a 15-year-old daughter,’” Connolly read. “‘Do you think I can look her in the eye and tell her that I endorse Donald Trump when he acts like this and his apology ― that was no apology, that was an apology for getting caught. I can’t tell the good people of my state that I endorse a person who acts like that.’ Was that you, Mr. Strzok?”
“No sir,” Strzok said.
“No it wasn’t,” Connolly said. “It was Republican Jason Chaffetz, former chairman of my committee.”
Connolly continued to point out the hypocrisy by reading out tweets and statements from other Republican lawmakers before Trump was president, including: Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Rep. Barbra Comstock (R-Va.), Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
“So it sounds like when you were writing these emails in the heat of the campaign, you had a lot of company on the Republican side of the aisle,” Connolly told Strzok. “And now you’re an orphan. I wonder what happened?”