by WorldTribune Staff, June 18, 2018
FBI agent Peter Strzok moved to fast-track the Trump-Russia investigation amid the 2016 campaign at the same time he was sending anti-Trump text messages to his lover Lisa Page, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz noted in his report last week.
Strzok was the FBI’s lead agent in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s illegal private email server, then took the same role in the Trump-Russia probe.
“In assessing Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation … these text messages led us to conclude that we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision was free from bias,” Horowitz wrote.
The report released by Horowitz last week focused on the Clinton email investigation. A separate inquiry into how the FBI started and conducted the investigation into alleged Russia election interference is continuing.
From July to November 2016, “Strzok ramped up the Trump case by using the dossier to obtain warrants and guide the investigation,” Rowan Scarborough noted in a June 17 report for The Washington Times. “Fired FBI Director James B. Comey said in an interview that his job was to see whether agents could replicate the dossier’s collusion charges, which remain unconfirmed publicly.”
Meanwhile, Strzok had slammed Trump in several text messages to Page, vowing in one to “stop” Trump from becoming president.
According to the Horowitz report, Strzok texted Page in August 2016 that “we’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming president.
“When asked about this text message,” the Horowitz report said, “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.”
Strzok said that if he wanted to affect the outcome, then he could have leaked the Russia investigation to the media.
“We were deeply troubled by text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations,” the inspector general said.
Horowitz also focused on Strzok’s message saying that “we can’t take that risk” of a Trump election win and that he had an “insurance policy” against it.
Strzok claimed the comment was innocent. Horowitz said “Strzok said the reference in his text message to an ‘insurance policy’ reflected his conclusion that the FBI should investigate the allegations thoroughly right away, as if Trump were going to win.”
Strzok also messaged Page in May 2017 that he was reluctant to join special counsel Robert Mueller’s team because he did not know whether the inquiry would amount to much.
“I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there,” Strzok told Page.