Two FBI agents who were assigned to the special counsel on Russia, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, had texted each other during the 2016 campaign about protecting the country against Trump, according to texts published by Politico.
One of them, Strzok, had also led the FBI’s Clinton email investigation, and watered down language that might have brought criminal charges for Hillary Clinton.
Lisa Page, who left the special counsel earlier this year to return to the FBI, had texted Strzok in August 2016: “Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.”
“I can protect our country at many levels,” Strzok replied.
The anti-Trump text messages were uncovered during a Justice Department inspector general investigation into whether political influence affected DOJ decisions during the campaign. It was also uncovered that the two were engaged in an extramarital affair.
There were also pro-Clinton text messages as well.
“God Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0,” Strzok wrote in March 2016.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on Wednesday called the messages “deeply troubling.”
“Reports on the political predisposition and potential bias of certain career agents and department lawyers on Special Counsel Mueller’s team are deeply troubling to all citizens who expect a system of blind and equal justice,” he said at the beginning of the House Judiciary Committee hearing.
“These text messages prove what we all suspected — high-ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election and clearly let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgment,” he said.
About 375 text messages were turned over to Congress Tuesday night by the Justice Department, ahead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appearance before the committee on Wednesday.
A letter from the DOJ to lawmakers said Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia probe “immediately” after learning about the texts in late July. Page had already ended her assignment on the probe by that time.
The pair also texted each other reactions to news developments as the campaign unfolded, calling Trump an “idiot” as early as mid-2015.
In March 2016, Page texted: “Also did you hear [Trump] make a comment about the size of his d*ck earlier? This man can not be president.”
Page also said in July 2016 that she was “worried” that “anarchist Assanges” would undercut Clinton’s campaign, referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s publishing emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Another message shows that they and perhaps FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe discussed Trump’s chances while at work.
Strzok wrote to Page in August 2016: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk.”
Page also suggested shortly after the election that Trump might be brought down by scandal.
“Bought all the president’s men,” she wrote to Stzrok. “Figure I needed to brush up on watergate.”
Goodlatte implored Rosenstein to launch a second special counsel investigation, in addition to the department’s inspector general investigation, to look into the DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation.
“This taint of politicization should concern all Americans who have pride in the fairness of our nation’s justice system,” he said.
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