GOP chair: FBI texts show 'extreme' political bias on Mueller team

GOP chair: FBI texts show 'extreme' political bias on Mueller team
© Camille Fine

Text messages between FBI officials recently provided to lawmakers show “extreme” political bias in the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, House Judiciary Chairman Bob GoodlatteRobert (Bob) William GoodlatteFreedom Caucus chair: GOP leaders don't have votes to avoid shutdown Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP leaders pitch children's health funding in plan to avert shutdown MORE (R-Va.) said Wednesday.

He said the communications between FBI agent Peter Strzok and lawyer Lisa Page provided to the committee by the Justice Department show the officials referring to President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE as an “utter idiot” and a “loathsome human.” 

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“We are now beginning to understand the magnitude of this insider bias on Mr. Mueller’s team,” Goodlatte said. 

“According to documents produced last night to the committee, Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page referred to the president as an ‘utter idiot,’ a ‘loathsome human,’ and ‘awful’ while continually praising Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE and the Obamas,” he said. 

Goodlatte referred to the communications during his opening statement at a hearing Wednesday featuring Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s investigation.

“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 allowed their political opinions to cloud their judgment,” Goodlatte said.

Goodlatte added that the communications demonstrate that the officials have “extreme bias” against the president. 

Reports recently revealed that Strzok was removed from Mueller's investigation in late July over the text messages critical of Trump he sent to Page during the presidential campaign. 

Trump’s allies have seized on the messages to question the impartiality of Mueller’s investigation, which is exploring whether there was collusion between Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

“We hope to hear your assessment of the foregoing conflicts, whether individuals are being held accountable, and whether you still have confidence in the judgment of the special counsel you named and supervise,” Goodlatte told Rosenstein.