A congressional jumbo-hearing on FBI agent Peter Strzok veered on and off the rails for hours on Thursday, erupting with sign-waving and shoutfests. The volume got turned up to 11 when Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert—who says he once duct-taped a defendant’s head during a trial—accused Strzok of lying to Congress and brought up his affair.
Gohmert started by ripping into private testimony Strzok gave in June to members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.
“You have come in here and said, I have no bias and you do it with a straight face. And I watched you in the private testimony you gave and I said to the other guys, he is really good, he’s lying, he knows we know he’s lying, and he could probably pass a polygraph,” Gohmert said.
At that point, Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) interrupted with a point of order.
“A member of this committee just asserted that this witness was under oath and a former agent of the FBI lied,” he said. “There is no evidence of that and I ask him to withdraw it.”
“I do not withdraw it,” Gohmert retorted. “He is not a member of Congress, it is not a violation of the rule.”
Gohmert then accused committee Democrats of “expressing bias” by praising Strzok when they questioned him.
The two men talked over each other as the chair of the joint committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), tried to stop the fight.
“I’ve talked to FBI agents around the country,” Gohmert continued. “You’ve embarrassed them, you’ve embarrassed yourself, and I can’t help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eye and lie to her—”
At that point, the room exploded, with members shouting over each other in protest.
“What’s wrong with you?” said Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a Texas Democrat. “Do you need your medication?”