Rep. Trey Gowdy pressed Strzok about a text in which he wrote of Trump’s campaign: “We will stop it.” Strzok explained that the “we” referred to voters. He said he’d written that text “in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero—and my presumption, based on that horrible, disgusting behavior, that the American population would not elect somebody demonstrating that behavior to be president.” This answer prompted a rebuke from another Republican, Rep. Paul Gosar. “You got very angry in regards to the Gold Star father,” he told Strzok. “That shows me that it’s innately a part of you and a bias.”
In these and other exchanges, Strzok defended country, law, and order, leaving Republicans to assail those values as biased. He reminded lawmakers that he had “spent 26 years putting on a gun, putting my life at risk for this country.” He reprimanded those who “tear down the underpinnings of … law and order” and who attack “the FBI or the U.S. intelligence community and compare them with Nazis.” He warned the committee that FBI agents, because of their belief in national defense and prosecuting crime, had been, “up until the current date, very strongly Republican.”
These values, not partisanship, accounted for the priority Strzok had placed on the Russia investigation before the 2016 election.