Ultimately Strzok responded to a question from Gowdy about the early portion of the Russian Federation investigation by defending his own work and the work of the FBI.
"Congressman, as you know, counsel for the FBI, based on the special counsel's equities, has instructed me not to answer questions about the ongoing investigation into Russian attempts to interfere".
The FBI agent who exchanged anti-Trump texts including a missive that "we'll stop" his election and discussed an "insurance policy" against a Trump presidency, denied doing anything wrong professionally before a hearing called by Republican lawmakers who argue that his bias irrevocably tainted the agency's Russian Federation investigation.
In the prepared remarks, Strzok acknowledges that while his text message criticism was "blunt", it was not directed at one person or political party, and included jabs not only at Trump, but also at Clinton as well as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). He will allege to House members that there is "simply no evidence of bias in [his] professional actions".
Strzok played important roles in both the investigation into Hillary Clinton's private email server while she was secretary of state and the investigation of Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential race now run by Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.
"This investigation is not politically motivated", Strzok said.
At another point during Thursday's hearing, Strzok said he believes it was the result of the outrage at the time over Trump's spat with Khizr Khan, whose son was killed during the Iraq War and who became a prominent critic of Trump. "None. Tomorrow will be just one big giant show that in no way can alter the provenance of key, damning evidence in Mueller's possession". "But", he said, "the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind".
Her lawyer, Amy Jeffress, said they are working quickly to arrange a new time for Page to testify, noting that they were not able to obtain the proper paperwork from the Department of Justice before her scheduled testimony, nor would the panel provide them with the scope of the interview, as they are required to do.
"I can assure you Mr. Chairman, at no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took".
The sharp tone of Strzok's statement sets the stage for a contentious hearing following hours of closed-door questioning last week.
Repulican Trey Gowdy of SC said Strzok exhibited "textbook bias" and in his mind had Clinton "winning the White House" before he finished her investigation. "If we have a problem with this policy we should take it up with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, not badger Mr. Strzok". And many Democrats say actions taken by law enforcement during the campaign season - including announcing a reopening of the investigation into Clinton just days before the election - actually wound up harming the Democratic candidate and aiding the Republican candidate, Trump. Goodlatte told CNN that Page had agreed to appear Friday.