Today was one of those times, as FBI agent Peter Strzok testified in a public hearing before the House Judiciary Committee, the latest chapter in the saga of Republican attempts to prove that any and all investigation into Russia's attempt to manipulate the 2016 election and the Trump campaign's eager cooperation with that effort is a "witch hunt".
Federal Bureau of Investigation agent Peter Strzok has always been one of - if not the - central villain in the Republican Party's (fictional) story of how "deep state" Democrats conspired to exonerate Hillary Clinton for her criminal email activity - and then launch a "witch hunt" aimed at destroying an innocent Donald Trump. Considering Democrats agree with his motivations, not to mention the way he classified Trump voters as uneducated, smelly and bigoted in text messages to his mistress, the cheers aren't surprising.
The hearing often descended into partisan bickering over points of parliamentary order and whether or not Strzok could be compelled to answer questions pertaining to ongoing FBI investigations.
To Democrats deriding the committees for their investigation into allegations of bias at the FBI, Goodlatte said "the American people hope you will understand that this investigation goes to the very heart of our system of justice, one that is supposed to be fair and treat everyone equally under the law".
Strzok was removed from Mueller's team when media outlets obtained and published his text messages with Page.
"I don't give a damn what you appreciate, Agent Strzok", Gowdy said.
"But 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.
Strzok angrily responded, saying the "we'll stop it" text came in response to campaign occurrences such as Trump insulting the immigrant father of a fallen USA soldier.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, the Oversight Committee chair, added, "Agent Strzok had Hillary Clinton winning the White House before he finished investigating her. Agent Strzok had Donald Trump impeached before he even started investigating him".
Trump - who mocks Page and Strzok as the "FBI lovers" - blasted Page's decision not to appear Thursday in a tweet, lamenting the "corruption on the other side" and again calling out Attorney General Jeff Sessions to do something about it. "We'll stop it", Mr. Strzok replied.
Strzok said that "based on that terrible, disgusting behavior", he assumed Americans would not elect Trump.
In his opening statement, Strzok said he has never allowed personal opinions to infect his work, that he knew information during the campaign that had the potential to damage Trump but never contemplated leaking it and that the focus on him by Congress is misguided and plays into "our enemies' campaign to tear America apart".
"At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok continued. The text and emails may have been discovered in May of 2017, but the bias existed and was manifest a year and a half before that.
The Justice Department's inspector general has criticized Strzok and Page for creating the appearance of impropriety through the texts.
At one point, Gowdy asked what the word "it" meant in Strzok's text. He appeared at a joint hearing before the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight Committee for several hours.