Trey Gowdy, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Bob Goodlatte, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, inspect their underwear after
an unbelievable dog and pony show their grilling of FBI agent Peter Strzok today.
From Rick Wilson (Republican political strategist!!) at DAILY BEAST:
Those who forget the lessons of televised congressional hearings are doomed to repeat them, which is why the morning segment of the Capitol Hill show trial of veteran FBI agent and former head of the Bureau’s Counterespionage division Peter Strzok turned into a disaster for Republicans.
Donald Trump’s congressional enablers, sycophants, and political suckups wanted a punching bag, but Strzok instead delivered one of the rarest of moments: the full Joseph N. Welch.
Welch, the chief counsel for the U.S. Army during the infamous [Joseph] McCarthy hearings in 1954, had reached a breaking point. After McCarthy’s tendentious badgering reached a fever pitch, Welch delivered a famous rejoinder than ended the Wisconsin senator’s career.
“If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so,” said Welch. “I like to think I am a gentleman, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me… You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”
This morning, it was Strzok’s turn. After an hour of drama-queen badgering from Trey “Benghazi” Gowdy and Bob Goodlatte, Strzok issued two passionate statements that will be the takeaways from an otherwise disorganized and contentious shitshow of a hearing before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees.
The first was a ringing defense of the FBI, with Strzok showing the kind of real passion that makes for great television. The FBI lifer issued a ringing defense of himself and his agency, punching Gowdy hard in the nose.
The second was a shot across Donald Trump’s bow: “I understand we are living in a political era in which insults and insinuation often drown out honesty and integrity. I have the utmost respect for Congress’s oversight role, but I truly believe that today’s hearing is just another victory notch in Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”
This latest spectacle was designed for one purpose only: the destruction of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia ties. Republicans like Fredo [Devin] Nunes who have tried to present a series of dramatic, table-flipping reality TV moments to reach that goal have failed time and again to derail the Mueller investigation. This morning was yet another swing-and-a-miss for the Trump GOP.
Strzok was supposed to be a key in the imaginary conspiracy that Trump’s congressional lackeys and media fantasists have desperately tried to write as history. The idea that his text messages poison the entire Mueller investigation was a pillar of their defense of the president. This morning they were going for a quick kill. They needed Strzok to flail, and wilt. The Gowdy, Goodlatte, and [Matt] Gaetz [R-FL] types needed their grandstanding, dick-waving mock outrage to leave Strozk shaking and begging for mercy.
Strozk had none of it. In this morning’s round he left the Trumpists of the House staggered in their corner, cut and shaky, wondering where Stozok learned to hit back that hard.