An FBI agent who was removed from the probe into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign texted an FBI attorney that the agency would "stop" then-candidate Donald Trump from becoming president.
Text messages disclosed Thursday in a highly anticipated report from the Justice Department's internal watchdog showed Peter Strzok, a top investigator into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future Popping the progressive bubble MORE's use of a private email server and into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, seemingly reassuring lawyer Lisa Page that Trump would not become president, The Washington Post reported.
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok in August 2016.
“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.
The text messages' disclosure comes as part of the inspector general's review of former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyHow Biden should sell his infrastructure bill 'Finally, infrastructure week!': White House celebrates T bill Huma Abedin on bid for political office: 'I'm not saying no to anything' MORE's handling of the Clinton email investigation.
In his report, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that Comey "deviated" from standard FBI procedure in the Clinton investigation, but was not motivated by political bias.
The conclusion, first reported by Bloomberg, also found that Strzok's and Page's potential political biases never "directly affected" the specific investigative actions that were reviewed in the report.
“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed,” the report's conclusion reads.
Strzok and Page were removed from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerAn unquestioning press promotes Rep. Adam Schiff's book based on Russia fiction Senate Democrats urge Garland not to fight court order to release Trump obstruction memo Why a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG MORE's investigation over the text messages, which were obtained by internal investigators, in the summer of 2017. The exchange, however, negatively affected public perception of the office, the report found.
“The conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation,” the report says.
President TrumpDonald TrumpStowaway found in landing gear of plane after flight from Guatemala to Miami Kushner looking to Middle East for investors in new firm: report GOP eyes booting Democrats from seats if House flips MORE and his GOP allies in Congress have pointed to the text exchange as proof of systemic political bias against him in both the Mueller investigation and within the top ranks of the federal government.
Updated 12:40 p.m.