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Most headlines about today’s joint hearing will focus on the firefights between Peter Strzok and Republicans. The goal thus far is to portray Republicans as either pawns of Russian President Putin or as bitter partisans who are just upset that Hillary isn’t wearing prison uniform. Either that or they’ll be portrayed as hyper-partisan hatemongers who just don’t understand the context surrounding his texts with Lisa Page.

That’s how the MSM is portraying today’s hearing. The truth, however, is that buried within the intramural catfights are major helpings of important substance that demolish Agent Strzok’s credibility. One such interlude is John Ratcliffe’s interrogation of Agent Strzok:

Ratcliffe sets Strzok up, saying “On page 400 of the Inspector General’s report, someone tells the Inspector General quote — there is a line — a bright and inviolable line between what you think personally and believe and the conduct of your official business. Who said that?”

Agent Strzok replied “I believe I said that.” Here’s the rest of that exchange:

Rep. Ratcliffe: You did say that. I heard you say similar things last week and I heard you say similar things today. You said it very clearly today. You said it very clearly, very unequivocally in your opening remarks. You said that you never crossed that inviolable line in 26 years. Earlier today in response to a question, you said “I took my personal belief out of every official act.” So you’re asking us to believe that when you say things like “f— Trump” and “Stop Trump” and “Impeach Trump”, that those are just personal beliefs and that when you say those things, you never crossed that line and that bright, inviolable line and allowed that to impact your official judgment. That’s what this really comes down to. You said that “I took my personal belief out of every official action.” So you’re asking us to believe that when you say things like ‘F— Trump’ and ‘Stop Trump’ and ‘Impeach Trump’, that those are just personal beliefs and that when you said those things, you never crossed that line, that bright, inviolable line and allow it to impact your official conduct. That’s really what this comes down to that you’re asking to believe, isn’t it?
AGENT STRZOK: Sir, what I’m asking you believe is that I’m offering you evidence…
REP. RATCLIFFE: Listen, you’ve been absolutely clear under oath, as clear as a bell on it. You’ve said it over and over again and because of this, I’m almost embarrassed to ask you this question. Of the approximately 50,000 text messages that I’ve seen with your personal beliefs with things like ‘F— Trump’ and ‘Stop Trump’ and ‘Impeach Trump’, go ahead and confirm on the record that none of those were done on an official FBI device or on official FBI time. Go ahead and do that.
AGENT STRZOK: Sir. No sir, some of them did…
REP. RATCLIFFE: Oh they did? So what you really meant to say when you said that you’d never crossed that bright, inviolable line, what you meant to say is ‘Except for the hundreds of times a day when I went back and forth expressing my personal opinions about ‘F—ing Trump’ and ‘stopping Trump’ and ‘impeaching Trump’ on official FBI phones and official FBI time, other than that, you never crossed that line.

This is how you interrogate a rogue FBI agent. For all his hours or moral preening and saying all the right words, Agent Strzok couldn’t avoid the truth that he’d crossed “that bright, inviolable line” hundreds of times.