During Strzok's almost 10 hours of congressional testimony Thursday, where he faced criticism and scrutiny from Republicans over anti-Trump text messages he had exchanged with then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, Cohen had said to him: "If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would".
He defended himself forcefully and doubled down on some of his most controversial comments in the texts, which he exchanged with Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page during the presidential campaign. I didn't agree with her characterization of every text message and every piece of evidence. "Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him".
During the tense hearing, the Tennessee Democrat told Strzok, "If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would".
"I don't think you'll have any, 'Gee, I did it, I did it, you got me".
Republicans, on the other hand, peppered Strzok with questions and expressed outrage that's been building for months.
"Through it all, Strzok emerged as a largely unflappable, if unlikely, champion of the very bureau that removed him from his role in the Russian Federation investigation last July".
Strzok declined to answer a question from Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, about interviews he conducted during the FBI's Russian Federation probe, saying the agency had directed him not to discuss ongoing investigations.
"That is who we are as the FBI", Strzok said in an animated riff that drew Democratic applause.
"Credibility of a witness is always an issue", Gohmert retorted over the commotion.
Strzok is not the flawless messenger, but he was right about this message: "Russian interference in our elections constitutes a grave attack on our democracy", he said. In the text, Page says Trump is "not ever going to become president, right?"
Strzok was thrown off Mueller's Russian Federation investigation team because of his text messages, made on FBI time and on an FBI phone; but before Congress, he insisted that they were personal opinions only and had nothing to do with his work. And my presumption, based on that awful, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States. The Justice Department, in a letter to both committees over the weekend, said it had "substantially complied" with their requests for documents and information, and was working to fulfill outstanding requests.
When Strzok declined to answer some questions on the Russian Federation probe, Goodlatte suggested Republicans might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected and Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed. They allowed Strzok's former lover Lisa Page to delay her committee appearance - originally scheduled for Wednesday - until after she had ample opportunity to observe his televised testimony.
"There is new information we've been able to gain today", Representative Mark Meadows said of the closed-interview, which lasted about four hours. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) shouted at Gohmert after his remarks. "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".