NEWPORT — Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., was quite vocal in this morning's joint hearing between the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, one that he made clear he found redundant in a tweet earlier today.

"It’s July 2018, but it sure feels like Groundhog Day.

"I’m headed into ANOTHER hearing on @HillaryClinton’s emails.

I mean, it’s not like we have more important stuff we should be working on...

— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) July 12, 2018"

The hearing called into question the anti-Trump text messages sent by FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who defended his actions in both the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the Russia investigation he was previously involved with.

Strzok was dismissed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe after his anti-Trump text messages surfaced in 2017. The texts, sent in 2016 when the Russia investigation was first starting, were exchanged between Strzok and then-FBI agent Lisa Page, with whom Strzok had an affair.

The hearing quickly fired up as Republicans claimed that the texts were evidence that the agent was attempting to light the way for Clinton while stopping Trump before the election in 2016.

Strzok remained firm in saying that the text messages he sent were a reflection of actions Trump was taking at the time of the campaign and that his personal opinions never impacted his professional actions.

Republicans at the hearing countered that these text messages are potentially evidence of a biased and corrupt law enforcement investigation.

In the midst of the contentious discussions, Cicilline questioned Republicans why the transcript from Strzok’s previous closed-door interview couldn’t be released. Strzok testified before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees in June.

Cicilline went on to threaten to expose the transcript by 5 p.m. if no reason was given before then.

Goodlatte urged him not to do so, as the investigation is still ongoing. Democrats argued that pieces of the interview have been released and used selectively to villainize Strzok.

Soon after this exchange, Cicilline tweeted his threat.

"Republican hypocrisy is ridiculous today. GOP has until 5pm to tell me why I can’t release Peter Strzok’s closed-door transcript. If they don’t, @RepRaskin and I are going to send to DOJ to scrub for sensitive info and then release it when it’s ready.

— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) July 12, 2018"

At 5:15 p.m., Cicilline confirmed that the transcripts of the closed-door interview were released as promised.

"UPDATE: Republicans couldn’t find an excuse to stop us from releasing the Strzok transcript. Sending to DOJ for redactions and will release as soon as it’s available. https://t.co/iOtXVsokNY

— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) July 12, 2018"

While the matter remains serious, Cicilline was able to find some comic relief in a gif provided by CNN.

"Thanks to @cnn for capturing my thoughts on today’s @HillaryClinton email hearing. pic.twitter.com/Lvmofdzd8C

— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) July 12, 2018"

 

 

rthatcher@newportri.com