One of the FBI agents on Mueller’s team also led the Clinton email investigation.
Two FBI agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who played pivotal roles in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian collusion with President Donald Trump and his campaign, had texted each other during the 2016 campaign about protecting the country against Trump, according to reports.
One of them, Strzok, had also led the FBI’s Clinton email investigation, and watered down language that might have brought criminal charges for Hillary Clinton.
Strzok cryptically referred to a potential idea to thwart Trump’s election during a meeting in FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s office in August 2016.
“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” he added in the August 15, 2016 text.
Earlier that month, on August 6, Page had texted Strzok: “Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.”
“I can protect our country at many levels,” Strzok replied.
The anti-Trump text messages were uncovered during a Justice Department inspector general investigation into whether political influence affected DOJ decisions during the campaign. It was also uncovered that the two were engaged in an extramarital affair.
There were also pro-Clinton text messages as well.
“God Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0,” Strzok wrote in March 2016.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on Wednesday called the messages “deeply troubling.”
“Reports on the political predisposition and potential bias of certain career agents and department lawyers on Special Counsel Mueller’s team are deeply troubling to all citizens who expect a system of blind and equal justice,” he said at the beginning of the House Judiciary Committee hearing.
“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 let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgment,” he said.
About 375 text messages were turned over to Congress Tuesday night by the Justice Department, ahead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s appearance before the committee on Wednesday.
A letter from the DOJ to lawmakers said Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia probe “immediately” after learning about the texts in late July. Page had already ended her assignment on the probe by that time.
The pair also texted each other reactions to news developments as the campaign unfolded, calling Trump an “idiot” as early as mid-2015.
Page also said in July 2016 that she was “worried” that “anarchist Assanges” would undercut Clinton’s campaign, referring to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s publishing emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
Page also suggested shortly after the election that Trump might be brought down by scandal.
“Bought all the president’s men,” she wrote to Stzrok. “Figure I needed to brush up on watergate.”
Goodlatte implored Rosenstein to launch a second special counsel investigation, in addition to the department’s inspector general investigation, to look into the DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation.
“This taint of politicization should concern all Americans who have pride in the fairness of our nation’s justice system,” he said.