Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) defended embattled FBI official Peter Strzok at a House hearing Thursday, accusing his GOP colleagues of "attacking" Strzok and the Mueller probe. 

The Memphis Democrat said Strzok deserves a Purple Heart for enduring the persistent accusations from Republicans. 

"If I could give you a Purple Heart, I would," said Cohen, calling for the committee to look at Russia's attack on the U.S. presidential election. 

The Purple Heart is a military honor bestowed on those who are wounded in combat or given posthumously to those killed in combat. 

Republican Mark Meadows (N.C.) blasted Cohen for his statement, calling it an "insult" to U.S. service members. 

Cohen said there is "little question" among our allies and their diplomats throughout Europe that Russia is "an antagonistic country that is trying to wreak havoc" in the Balkans and Baltic states.

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He lauded Strzok for working in FBI counterintelligence against the Russian threat. 

"It's astonishing to me that you'd be put on trial like you have today," said Cohen. 

The main focus of the hearing was a series of anti-Trump texts Strzok sent to his former co-worker and lover, Lisa Page, using his FBI phone while conducting investigations into Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton's email server.

Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe earlier this year after his texts were revealed.

Republicans grilled him on his alleged bias, but he maintained that his political beliefs had no impact on his official actions. 

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