Strzok was grilled by members of Congress over allegations of apparent anti-Trump bias revealed in a series of text messages he exchanged with ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.
At a time of fierce political divisions, few matters have polarized the public as much as the Russian Federation investigation, and Trump has relentlessly used his Twitter bully pulpit to criticize the probe, often seizing on Strzok and Page - the "two FBI lovers" - to make his point.
After a brief recess, Mr. Strzok said he was advised that he could answer the question.
"No wonder Bob Mueller kicked you off of the investigation, Agent Strzok", House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) told him.
"Mr. Strzok, I don't know where to start", Cohen said as he started his allotted five minutes. The committees ultimately voted to table the motion at the end of hearing. The texts were discovered during the Justice Department inspector general's probe of the Clinton email investigation.
Strzok said his remarks gave him "a lot of concern".
"Where the Federal Bureau of Investigation has directed me not to answer, I will abide by the FBI's instructions, but let me be clear, this is not because I don't want to answer your questions", he said.
It is point that has been largely brushed aside in Trump-friendly media circles, with a text Strzok sent to Page in May 2017 also receiving comparatively little scrutiny.
In his opening statement to the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees, Strzok condemned the Republican Party for its characterization of his private messages as evidence that his agency was biased against President Donald Trump, and for holding a hearing that he said amounted to "another milestone in our enemies' campaign to tear America apart".
"The fact that you would accuse me otherwise - the fact that you would question whether or not that was the sort of look I would engage with in a family member who I have acknowledged hurting - goes more to a discussion about your character and what you stand for and what is going inside you".
Strzok told lawmakers that he never attempted to use his power to try and prevent then-candidate Trump from winning the presidency.
The FBI agent said the Russian Federation investigation that began in summer 2016 had the power to "derail, and quite possibly, defeat Mr. Trump".
Strzok's work at the FBI became the subject of intense political battles in Congress after The Washington Post reported in December he and Page, who had been involved in a romantic relationship, were under investigation by the inspector general over their texts. This is the man who signed off on the July 2016 counterintelligence probe into possible Russian collusion between the Trump camp and the Kremlin.
Strzok again stated he could not answer and Goodlatte said the Committee would consider a contempt citation. "But the thought of exposing that information never crossed my mind". Jeffress said they would ask lawmakers to schedule another date for a closed-door interview.
So in short: The IG report found that top officials at the FBI believe bias at the NY office put the bureau in the situation that led to an investigatory action that likely changed the result of the election. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-New Jersey, said, "I have never seen my colleagues so out of control, so angry".
Officials said Friday the committees had reached an agreement to question her behind closed doors on Friday, following an angry back and forth with Page's lawyer Amy Jeffress over what she called "bullying tactics" by the lawmakers.