Newly released text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page show the FBI officials didn’t want to be too hard on Hillary Clinton lest she retaliate once she became president.
Text messages released on Thursday by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley indicated that the pair, who exchanged more than 50,000 texts with each other during the 2016 election campaign, were concerned that being tough on Clinton in the investigation of her email server would not bode well for the bureau once she took office, Fox News reported.
“One more thing: she might be our next president,” Page told Strzok, with whom she was having an affair, in a text message from Feb. 25, 2016.
“The last thing you need [is] going in there loaded for bear,” she wrote, referring to Clinton. “You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more [DOJ] than [FBI]?”
Strzok , who was working on the Clinton probe, said he “agreed” and spoke to someone named “Bill” about the discussion. Strzok and Page were both part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia and the Trump campaign though Strzok was reassigned in the agency after anti-Trump texts were discovered on his phone.
The Justice Department’s inspector general announced that the missing five months of texts had been recovered on Thursday after taking possession of “at least four” phones belonging to Strzok and Page, according to Fox News.
“The text messages that were provided raise serious concerns about the impartiality of senior leadership running both the Clinton and Trump investigations,” Grassley told FBI Director Christopher Wray in a letter Thursday. The Iowa Republican also expressed concern that Strzok and Page were transmitting government records in a questionable way.
“It appears that Strzok and Page transmitted federal records pertaining to the Clinton investigation on private, non-government services,” Grassley said. “It is important to determine whether their own similar conduct was a factor in not focusing on and developing evidence of similar violations by Secretary Clinton and her aides.”
The newly recovered messages, previously announced missing due to a hard-to-believe technical glitch, will likely add to the growing list that Republicans have been pointing to as evidence of political bias against President Trump by top officials at the FBI. Messages between Strzok and Page have been released showing the duo spoke of a “secret society” in the bureau and the Department of Justice as well as Strzok’s message referring to an “insurance policy” in case Trump won the election.
“It’s clear that [Strzok and Page] did not want her charged,” Rep. Trey Gowdy said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“They wanted her to be the president of the United States,” the South Carolina Republican and House Intelligence Committee member, added. “The fix was in even before they interviewed the target of the investigation.”
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