Thursday's "parliamentary smackdown" in the House Judiciary and Oversight committees pitted Republicans against FBI agent Peter Strzok, whose text messages with lover Lisa Page criticizing President Trump have put him in the crosshairs of Trump and his allies, Stephen Colbert said on Thursday's Late Show. He read a few of those critical texts. His audience cheered. But "Republicans see these texts as proof of a vast conspiracy within the FBI to stop Donald Trump from being elected president, and here's how devious and how deep they went," Colbert said: "In order to keep it a secret, they let him get elected president."
In Thursday's circus-like hearing, "Strzok came out swinging," Colbert said, "but then the grilling began." And when Strzok, heeding instructions from FBI lawyers, declined to answer some GOP questions about the Trump-Russia investigation, "all rhetorical hell broke loose." He played a clip then enthusiastically re-enacted it, taking some colorful liberties. "This is the first time I've seen Congress as frustrated with Congress as we are," he said, playing another showdown. But things really went off the rails when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) snidely brought up Strzok's wife.
Colbert wrapped things up: "So it looks like what happened here is that Congress hauled in an FBI agent in an effort to undermine the integrity of law enforcement and protect the president from being investigated for potentially criminal acts." He underscored that point by playing Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) reading one of Strzok's texts. Watch below. Peter Weber