Among the bombshells found in the Justice Department’s inspector general report released today are previously unreported text messages between the romantically involved FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page promising to “stop” Donald Trump’s election as president.
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page wrote to Strzok.
“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.
This text, sent on Aug. 8, 2016, was missing from the previously discovered batch of texts that DOJ provided to Congress. Roughly 50,000 messages were exchanged between the anti-Trump pair over the course of the election and Trump’s first year in office. A Justice Department spokesperson was unable to say why this text was missing from the previous disclosures, The Daily Caller reports.
Strzok was an investigator on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s involvement in the Trump campaign. The published report states that IG investigators are “particularly concerned about text messages” that indicate a biased state of mind or improper considerations as Strzok wielded federal police powers.
“Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, and the implication in some of these text messages, particularly Strzok’s August 8 text message (‘we’ll stop’ candidate Trump from being elected), was that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects,” the report states.
“Under these circumstances, we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.”
The report also records Strzok’s response when investigators asked about the Aug. 8 text message.
Strzok stated that he did not specifically recall sending it, but that he believed that it was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation.
Strzok told the OIG that he did not take any steps to try to affect the outcome of the presidential election, in either the Midyear investigation or the Russia investigation. Strzok stated that had he—or the FBI in general—actually wanted to prevent Trump from being elected, they would not have maintained the confidentiality of the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and members of the Trump campaign in the months before the election. Page similarly stated that, although she could not speak to what Strzok meant by that text message, the FBI’s decision to keep the Russia investigation confidential before the election shows that they did not take steps to impact the outcome of the election.
Read the full IG report here.