FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was intimately involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the probe of Russian election-meddling, vowed to “stop” Donald Trump from reaching the White House in an August 2016 text message to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the Washington Post reports.
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page wrote to Strzok in a text message set to be released Thursday as part of a Department of Justice inspector general’s report.
“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok, who was dating Page at the time, responded.
Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in August after the inspector general uncovered the text messages, and Page has since left the bureau. Strzok’s comment is reminiscent of his cryptic discussion of implementing an “insurance policy” in the event Trump won the election, which was exposed in a previous batch of text messages uncovered by the IG last year.
While it remains unclear whether their partisan leanings affected their conduct during their time on Mueller’s team, the Thursday report indicated it had no bearing on their behavior while investigating Clinton’s use of a private email server.
“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed,” Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz wrote in the report. “The conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”
In a Thursday morning statement, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer preempted any claims that the report, which will be sent to Congress Thursday, constituted evidence that Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials was tainted by political bias.
“Although we have not yet seen the inspector general’s report, there is no reason — no reason — to believe that it will provide any basis to call the special counsel’s work into question,” Schumer said in a speech on the Senate floor. “The IG report concerns an entirely separate investigation from the Russia probe that Special Counsel Mueller is conducting.”
Trump, who has questioned why the inspector general’s report was not released earlier, lashed out Thursday at the prospect of contending once again with the Russia investigation after devoting his attention to his historic summit meeting with Kim Jong-un.
“Now that I am back from Singapore, where we had a great result with respect to North Korea, the thought process must sadly go back to the Witch Hunt, always remembering that there was No Collusion and No Obstruction of the fabricated No Crime,” the president tweeted.