WASHINGTON — FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page exchanged text messages in which he said they would stop Donald Trump from being elected president, according to a Justice Department Inspector General report that was released on Thursday.
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?” Page wrote to Sztrok on Aug. 8, 2016.
“No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.
The agents (who were in a relationship although they both were married) were dismissed from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigative team last year after it was discovered they had exchanged anti-Trump texts. Strzok also was a lead investigator on the Clinton email probe. The text messages were provided to Congress in February and have become the focus of Republican claims of political bias at the FBI and DoJ, but these latest messages were not part of that package sent to Congress. They were provided to Attorney General Jeff Session a few days ago.
Trump has called Mueller’s investigation a witch-hunt and has not ruled out firing him. Trump has questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s ability to impartially oversee the investigation.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said he was disgusted by the report’s findings.
“Peter Strzok’s manifest bias trending toward animus casts a pall on this investigation,” Gowdy said in a statement. “Bias is so pernicious and malignant as to both taint the process, the result, and the ability to have confidence in either. His bias was so pervasive and toxic as to call into question any other investigations he was part of including his role in the investigation of what Russia did in 2016.”
Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, said the report is politically biased.
“The report is critically flawed in its bizarre conclusion that the IG cannot rule out “with confidence” the possibility that Special Agent Strzok’s political ‘bias’ may have been a cause of the FBI’s failure, between September 29 and October 25, 2016, to seek a search warrant for the Anthony Weiner laptop,” Goelman said in a statement. “In fact, all facts contained in the report lead to the conclusion that the delay was caused by a variety of factors and miscommunications that had nothing to do with Special Agent Strzok’s political views.”