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Both Republicans and Democrats are looking to take advantage of all the attention focused on Thursday’s nationally-televised hearing with FBI agent Peter Strzok, who’s testifying for the first time in public about the anti-Trump texts he sent during the 2016 presidential campaign.
A memorable moment of political theater came even before Strzok spoke – during opening remarks by ranking Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings. Several people, apparently committee staffers, stood up behind Democratic lawmakers, holding large posters of all those who have already pleaded guilty so far in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.
“The special counsel has now obtained five guilty pleas and indicted 18 others, including some of President Trump’s closest advisers – referencing posters that included retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn who resigned and pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
“Here are the officials who have already admitted their guilt … Let me underscore, these are not allegations, these are admissions,” Cummings said.
Republicans appealed to Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, to make the sign-holders to sit down. But Cummings asked: “Is there a rule for that Mr. Chairman?” A fellow Democrat chimed in: “Are there any rules against what they are doing? Cite the rule! Cite the rule! Cite the rule if there is a rule against what they are doing!”
Goodlatte then said: “The gentleman may proceed.”
ABC News’ Mike Levine contributed to this report.