In April 2016, while Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was being investigated by the FBI over her misuse of a private email server, then-President Barack Obama issued a “guarantee” that he would not get involved.
But now, recently released text messages that were exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are raising questions about whether or not Obama stayed true to his word.
“Can you guarantee to the American people — can you direct the Justice Department to say, ‘Hillary Clinton will be treated as the evidence goes, she will not be in any way protected,'” Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Obama nearly two years ago.
“I can guarantee that,” Obama replied. “I can guarantee that not because I give Attorney General (Loretta) Lynch a directive, that is institutionally how we have always operated.”
“I do not talk to the attorney general about pending investigations. I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. We have a strict line and always have maintained it. … I guarantee it,” he added.
Wallace continued to seek Obama’s assurances, and the then-president kept giving definitive responses.
“I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation conducted by the Justice Department or the FBI, not just in this case but in any case. Full Stop. Period,” he said. “Nobody gets treated differently when it comes to the Justice Department because nobody is above the law,” he said.
However, in a text message dated Sept. 2, 2016 — just two months before Election Day — Page suggested that Obama wanted to know “everything” the FBI was doing.
“(P)otus wants to know everything we’re doing,” Page wrote to Strzok as part of an exchange about getting then-FBI Director James Comey ready to brief Obama.
Fox News reviewed this text and noted that according to a new Senate report, the message “raises questions about Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation.”
At the time the message was sent, the bureau was involved in the Clinton email investigation, as well as a probe into alleged Russian collusion in the presidential election.
Nearly two months later the Obama White House was still denying that it had interfered in the Clinton investigation.
“The White House is going to be scrupulous about avoiding even the appearance of political interference in prosecutorial or investigative decisions,” said then-press secretary Josh Earnest on Oct. 31, 2016, according to The Washington Times.
President Donald Trump responded to the new revelations regarding the FBI, calling the recently released texts “BOMBSHELLS.”
Previous texts, meanwhile, have shown that Strzok and Page, who were having an affair, had personal biases against then-candidate Trump.
As The Western Journal reported, Strzok described Trump during the 2016 campaign as a “loathsome human” and an “idiot,” and found the prospect of him being president “terrifying.”
Still, following the election, both officials worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe investigating alleged Russian collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The newest batch of text messages were released by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson and other Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The messages are accompanied by a report called, “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI’s Investigation of it.”
The texts have also shed more light on the timing of Comey’s Oct. 28 announcement that the FBI was reopening the investigation into the former secretary of state.
Over the summer, Comey famously closed the case, saying that though Clinton’s actions were “extremely careless,” they did not warrant criminal charges.
But just days before the election, he sent a letter to Congress explaining that the FBI had discovered more emails related to the Clinton case on former New York Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop.
Weiner was the estranged husband of top Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
One month before Comey announced the discovery of the new emails, Strzok suggested in a text to Page that the FBI already was aware of their existence.
“Got called up to (then-FBI Deputy director) Andy’s (McCabe) earlier.. hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s atty to sdny (Southern District of New York), includes a ton of material from spouse (Huma Abedin). Sending team up tomorrow to review… this will never end,” he wrote in a message dated Sept. 28.
However, on Oct. 28, Comey said in his letter to Congress that he had only learned about these emails “yesterday.”
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