The extreme political divide over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and any ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump boiled over in Congress on Thursday, as a top FBI official who led the initial Russia investigation battled with Republicans for nearly ten hours, with lawmakers repeatedly shouting and screaming at each other during a tense hearing by a pair of House committees.
"This investigation is not politically motivated," said Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was booted off the probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller after text messages emerged that showed Strzok expressing repeated negative views about President Trump, even as the FBI veteran led the Russia investigation.
"It is not a witch hunt, it is not a hoax," Strzok said, parroting the complaints of President Trump about the Mueller probe of Russian interference in 2016.
Democrats labeled the hearing a "Russian political show trial," as they repeatedly ran interference for Strzok, while Republicans sought to use Strzok's explantaions and text messages to argue that the entire Russia investigation was poisoned by bias inside the FBI, repeatedly accusing Strzok of lying.
"I don't believe you," said Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) bluntly after one in a string of contentious question-and-answer sessions.
What did we learn from Thursday's extensive hearing?