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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 GoodlatteFusion GPS co-founder pleads the Fifth following House GOP subpoena House Judiciary chairman threatens to subpoena Rosenstein Fusion GPS co-founder will invoke 'constitutional rights not to testify': lawyers 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 TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East 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 ClintonBudowsky: Closing message for Democrats Election Countdown: Dems outraise GOP in final stretch | 2018 midterms already most expensive in history | What to watch in second Cruz-O'Rourke debate | Trump raises 0M for reelection | Why Dems fear Avenatti's approach GOP mocks Clinton after minor vehicle collision outside Mendendez campaign event 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.