The hearing often descended into partisan bickering over points of parliamentary order and whether or not Strzok could be compelled to answer questions pertaining to ongoing FBI investigations.
Speaking to lawmakers in a public hearing on Thursday, the intelligence agent said his anti-Trump texts with Lisa Page - a former Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer with whom he was having an affair - were "blunt", but that "not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took".
"Mr. Gowdy, my understanding of why I was kicked off was that based on an understanding of those texts, and the perception that they might create-" Strzok responded. "At every step, at every investigative decision, there are multiple layers of people above me. and multiple layers of people below me. all of whom were involved in all of these decisions".
Robert Mueller is investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 United States presidential election and the Trump campaign's possible involvement.
"I don't recall writing that text", Strzok added later, with Gowdy talking over him.
WASHINGTON ― FBI special agent Peter Strzok said Thursday that an August 2016 text stating "we'll stop" Donald Trump was in response to "horrible, disgusting" comments that then-candidate Trump made about the family of a fallen Muslim war hero. The text and emails may have been discovered in May of 2017, but the bias existed and was manifest a year and a half before that.
Strzok also said he was one of the few people during the 2016 US election who knew the details of Russian election interference and its possible connections with people in the Trump orbit, and that information could have derailed Trump's election chances.
"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took", he will say.
Strzok said on Thursday that "we" referred to the American people because he believed Trump would not win the election after criticizing families whose relatives have been killed while serving in the USA military.
Belgium and England reluctantly meet again
Did we feel we would be in this position? "I think at the Euro we thought it was already a done deal, the mentality was not the same as now".
Ahead of the hearing, Nadler and Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, issued a statement Wednesday knocking the questions Republicans had asked of Strzok in the closed session, including queries on his extramarital affair with Page and his vote in 2016.
"I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there's no big there there", Strzok said in the text.
Democrats loudly objected to Goodlatte's attempts to force Strzok to answer Gowdy's first question about how many witnesses were interviewed in the opening days of Russian Federation probe.
Strzok has met with members of the House Judiciary Committee privately, but his hearing scheduled for Thursday is open. She will instead appear in a closed-door hearing on Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte told Fox Business Network.
"I'm asking, if you want to have a debate over a two-letter word, we're going to have to do that some other time".
"Mr. Gowdy, as I've stated, that text was written late at night in shorthand".
Strzok said Thursday he has continued working with Horowitz and his team to provide information related to the DOJ's 2016 Clinton email and Trump-Russia cases.
In his opening remarks, Strzok defended Mueller's work and emphasized the threat of Russian election interference, clearly referencing the president in saying, "This investigation is not politically motivated, it is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax".