The Department of Justice Office of Inspector General just released its long-awaited report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation — code-named the Midyear Exam — on Thursday afternoon, and it didn’t take long for damning bits of information from that report to be circulated.
According to The Washington Post, one critical revelation was that senior FBI officials had exhibited a “willingness to take official action” in 2016 to try to prevent then-candidate Donald Trump from winning the presidential election and subsequently taking office.
One such example of that willingness to take anti-Trump actions was revealed in a previously unreleased text message from FBI agent Peter Strzok to then-FBI attorney Lisa Page, which stated “we’ll stop” Trump from ever becoming president.
Page had messaged, “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok had replied reassuringly, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
The obvious implication from that message was that Strzok and other senior FBI officials would affirmatively take action to either prevent Trump from winning the election or somehow prevent him from being inaugurated into office in the event of an upset victory.
According to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, that text among others from Strzok to Page, “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”
Horowitz added that the messages “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
Strzok’s boss, former FBI Director James Comey, unbelievably said he didn’t think the IG report reflected badly on his bureau.
“In 2016, my team faced an extraordinary situation — something I thought of as a 500-year flood — offering no good choices and presenting some of the hardest decisions I ever had to make,” he wrote in a New York Times op-ed published Thursday.
In his own defense, Strzok had told investigators the text message in question “was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation.” He further claimed that his messages with Page were nothing more than personal opinions that were unrelated to the work they were doing.
Similarly, Page had told investigators, “I’m an American. We have the First Amendment. I’m entitled to an opinion.”
But it wasn’t just Page and Strzok who were sending personal messages back and forth that made clear their decided bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton. The IG report specifically named five other top officials involved in the Clinton investigation who had expressed their political views — which severely undercuts the narrative put forward by Comey and his media allies that none of the FBI’s top investigators “give a rip about politics.”
Horowitz wrote that those officials had brought “discredit to themselves, sowed doubt about the FBI’s handling of the midyear investigation, and impacted the reputation of the FBI.”
“The messages cast a cloud over the FBI investigations to which these employees were assigned. Ultimately the consequences of these actions impact not only the senders of these messages but also other who worked on these investigation and, indeed, the entire FBI,” the IG report stated, according to the Post.
It is worth noting that the five officials named by Horowitz have been referred back to the FBI for consideration of whether their messages violated the FBI’s Offense Code of Conduct and is worthy of criminal prosecution, or at least termination, if those individuals are even still employed by the FBI.
To be sure, there is plenty more to be discovered in the 500-page IG report, and WaPo wasted no time in using the rest of their article to downplay the findings contained therein.
But things sure don’t look good for Comey and his band of partisan hack investigators.
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