On Wednesday, CNN reported that the text regarding Obama allegedly referred to Obama's interest in Russian interference in the election, rather than the Hillary investigation. This obviously makes the texts far less controversial, and may in fact neuter their impact — although it's still relatively clear that Obama's DOJ worked with the FBI to help save Hillary from the email investigation, as detailed by Andrew McCarthy of National Review.
Late Tuesday evening, Fox News released a new and shocking report on texts between FBI agents and lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, both of whom were fired from the Mueller investigation for bias against President Trump. According to Fox News, Page texted Strzok on September 2, 2016, with the news that FBI director James Comey wanted them to prepare an update on ongoing investigations because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” The Senate suggests that this text was not about the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, but rather about the Hillary Clinton probe, which had not yet been closed.
The texts also show Strzok writing to Page on September 28, 2016: “Got called up to 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.” The FBI didn’t inform Congress until a month later that they were re-opening their email investigation into Clinton.
In the texts, Strzok also called Virginians “ignorant hillbillys” [sic] for failing to elect the wife of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe to the state Senate.
On November 13, 2016, Page wrote to Strzok, “I bought all the president’s men. Figure I need to brush up on Watergate.”
The most shocking material here is obviously the news that President Obama wanted to be updated on the Clinton investigation — particularly when Obama stated on national television in April 2016 that he did “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. 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. Period.”
That, obviously, was untrue.
Now, it’s clear that the president can order an update on any investigation he wants. As Trump supporters and anyone who can read a Constitution maintain, the president has authority over the FBI. But as Andy McCarthy of National Review has detailed, it’s also pretty clear that the Obama administration worked with the FBI to quash the Hillary email investigation and reach a predetermined end. How far that activity extended into the Trump-Russia collusion investigation remains unclear at this point. But the idea that Republicans are politicizing the DOJ and FBI rather than that politicization beginning under Obama is purely crazy.