Crank it up to eleven. The intense hearing—that is still ongoing—between members of the House Judiciary Committee and disgraced FBI Agent Peter Strzok. Mr. Strzok engaged in an extramarital affair with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. They sent tens of thousands of texts, almost all of them anti-Trump. Strzok was involved in two key FBI investigations, the Russia investigation and the Hillary Clinton email probe, and this bias has been the subject of controversy within the halls of the FBI and the Department of Justice. The whole hearing has been combative, a delicious circus with Republican members leveling legitimate criticism as Strzok, dotted with Democrats interrupting lines of questioning, and desperately trying to pivot to other issues. It’s a circus. It will go down as a great day in political theater.
Yet, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) decided to go there this afternoon, mentioning his affair with Page, which drew loud objections from Democrats.
“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 innocent into your wife's eye and lie to her about Lisa,” Gohmert said to Strzok—and then all hell broke loose (via Washington Examiner):
"Mr. Chairman, this is outrageous!" one Democrat shouted.
"Do you need your medication?" a female Democrat shouted at Gohmert.
Strzok said repeatedly during the hearing that he was communicating private political opinions with Page, and that they do not reflect a bias in his investigatory role. He also fired back at Gohmert for bringing up his relationship with his wife.
"I assure you under oath ... I have always told the truth," Strzok told Gohmert. "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."
The discovery of Strzok's messages with Page resulted in his 2017 removal from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
There was another melee, though more grounded in a procedural fight, when House Judiciary Committee chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) threatened to hold Strzok in contempt when he refused to answer a question relating to the Russia investigation.
WATCH: This morning's House Judiciary hearing quickly became contentious as Chair Bob Goodlatte threatened FBI Agent Peter Strzok with contempt for declining to answer questions on Russia probe.— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) July 12, 2018
Democratic members of the committee raised objections. https://t.co/vuzQbk3PhD pic.twitter.com/Wzs2AVgDCX
There was some great television today, folks. That is all.
Strzok has remained employed by the FBI, though he was transferred to the human resources department after his removal from the Mueller probe. He still has a security clearance.
Peter Strzok confirms he still has a security clearance— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) July 12, 2018