Federal Bureau of Investigation report: Anti-Trump texts 'cast a cloud' over email probe
Jun 17, 2018, 01:47
It comes after the Justice Department's internal watchdog released a 500-page report finding that Mr Comey was "insubordinate" when he denied agency protocols in his handling of the email investigation involving Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The report also criticized FBI agent Strzok and former FBI lawyer Page, who were having an affair, for exchanging anti-Trump text messages that "cast a cloud" over the credibility of the investigation, but found no evidence "that these political views directly affected the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed".
In one August 2016 text message, Strzok - as he was leading the Clinton probe and the FBI investigation of Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 election - said he and his team would "stop" Trump from becoming president if necessary. "No he won't. We'll stop it". He also quoted lawyer and Fox News talking head Mark Levin, who said "Donald Trump was 100% right to fire James Comey".
The White House said the report confirmed Mr Trump's "suspicions" about Mr Comey and about the "political bias among some of the members of the FBI". FBI DirectorChristopher Wray said that "conduct in the report" had already been referred to the department's disciplinary arm, but he would not say which employees had been referred or for what conduct.
"I think it essentially concludes what was obvious at the time, and that's that Comey was just largely ignoring rules, both in July and in October", said Matt Miller, a former Department of Justice official under Attorney General Eric Holder. Doesn't get any lower than that!
"We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account to conduct unclassified Federal Bureau of Investigation business", the 500-page report states.
I must remind readers, however, that Trump, upon assuming the presidency, chose to retain Comey rather than relieving him of duty, as many of us thought he should. The White House initially said Trump fired Comey over his handling of the Clinton investigation, though the president himself later muddied that explanation when he said he was thinking of "this Russian Federation thing".
"I would like to talk, but it seems to be very biased", Trump said of the special counsel's probe.
Comey made an appearance at the MSP Airport Thursday.
The FBI obtained a warrant nine days before the presidential election to review those emails, found on the laptop of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., - the husband of top Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin - and ultimately determined there was nothing that changed its original conclusion. "This report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations actually impacting the investigation under review".
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US President Donald Trump waves next to Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan after arriving in Singapore on June 10. Trump will also meet staff from the United States embassy in Singapore on Monday afternoon, the White House said on Sunday.
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