This argument would nearly certainly fall apart before a judge, given the fact that the FBI Inspector General found no evidence that Peter Strzok's "political bias" affected the outcome of either the FBI's investigation into candidate Donald Trump or their investigation into candidate Hillary Clinton.
FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies before the the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 12, 2018.
Republican members of the committee were expected to grill Strzok for hours as they argue that the text messages with Lisa Page coloured the outcome of the Clinton email investigation and undercut the FBI's ongoing investigation into Russian election interference.
Committee members sought to question Strzok about the texts and to determine how, if at all, his anti-Trump bias impacted the investigations.
Gowdy pressed Strzok on the texts during the back-and-forth, at one point telling the FBI agent that it's "no wonder Bob Mueller kicked you off the investigation". New Jersey Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman said, "You need your medication!"
"I do not withdraw it, he is not a member of Congress, it's not a violation of the rule", Gohmert responded.
The committee's ranking member, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), told reporters as he headed into the meeting with Page on Friday that he expected her to get numerous same questions as Strzok.
"At no time, in any of those texts, did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok told lawmakers.
When Strzok declined to answer some questions on the Russian Federation probe, Goodlatte suggested Republicans might recess the hearing and hold him in contempt. Democrats objected and Goodlatte eventually let the hearing proceed.
Democrats threw their support behind Strzok with gusto.
In his most direct defense of the controversial texts, Strzok said he had written them "off-the-cuff" and that it was important to view them in the context of the heated election in 2016, during which Trump engaged in numerous outrageous, racially-charged feuds - including with the family of Muslim U.S. Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.
"Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took", he said. "I clearly wasn't smelling one thing or the other", Strzok responded.
Strzok wound up where he begun, with a condemnation of the partisan attacks on the Justice Department and FBI he said had been corrosive of Americans' trust in federal law enforcement.
Mr Strzok's case has been used by the president and many Republicans to discredit Mueller's investigation on alleged ties between Trump's campaign and the Kremlin.
Plus, he said in an animated riff that drew Democratic applause, both the Clinton and Russian Federation investigations were handled by large teams that "would not tolerate any improper behaviour in me any more than I would tolerate it in them".
"Now call upon the majority to release that transcript in full today", Nadler said.
After she did not appear on Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan that "congressional subpoenas for testimony are not optional", warning Page that the House could move to hold her in contempt if she did not comply.