The damning report by the Justice Department inspector general has unleashed a flood of questions, particularly about the bureau’s handling of political bias within its ranks. One Republican congressman from New York asked a question many others, including President Trump, have been left wondering: Why does FBI agent Peter Strzok still have a job with the bureau?
“Peter Strzok should not be employed at the FBI as a waterboy, let alone as an FBI agent,” wrote Rep. Lee Zeldin Thursday. “Why does he still have a job at the Bureau? This tarnishes the great reputation of the amazing patriots up & down the ranks at the FBI who actually pursue justice objectively & responsibly.”
Strzok’s overt anti-Trump bias became public knowledge last year when Robert Mueller was forced to remove him from his role in the Russia probe after messages between Strzok and former bureau lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair, came to light.
The IG report provided previously unreleased messages, one of which was particularly troubling. When Page expressed worry on Aug. 8, 2016 that Trump might win the election, Strzok asserted that he will not, adding, “We’ll stop it.”
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” wrote Page.
“No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it,” Strzok replied.
Below are the key messages between Page and Strzok revealing political bias against Trump and in favor of Clinton, or related to the various investigations, compiled by The Washington Post:
April 1, 2016
Page: “So look, you say [to your wife] we text on that phone when we talk about hillary because it can’t be traced, you were just venting bc you feel bad that you’re gone so much but it can’t be helped right now.”
July 24, 2016
Page: “[U.S. District Court Judge Rudy Contreras] is on the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]! Did you know that? Just appointed two months ago. …”
Strzok: “I did. We talked about it before and after. I need to get together with him.”
July 26, 2016
Page: “Yeah, it is pretty cool. [Clinton] just has to win now. I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about trump. The sandernistas have the potential to make a very big mistake here …”
Strzok: “I’m not worried about them. I’m worried about the anarchist Assanges who will take fed information and disclose it to disrupt. We’ve gotta get the memo [on the findings of the Clinton email server investigation] and brief and case filing done.”
July 31, 2016
Strzok: “And damn [the opening of the investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion] feels momentous. Because this matters. The other one [the Clinton investigation] did, too, but that was to ensure we didn’t F something up. This matters because this MATTERS. So super glad to be on this voyage with you.”
Aug. 6, 2016
Page: “This is not to take away from the unfairness of it all, but we are both deeply fortunate people. … And maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace [in reference to Trump and possible collusion with Russia].”
Strzok: “Thanks. It’s absolutely true that we’re both very fortunate. And of course I’ll try and approach it that way. I just know it will be tough at times. I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps….”
Aug. 8, 2016
Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”
Aug. 15, 2016
Strzok: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s [Andrew McCabe] office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Sept. 2, 2016
Page: “potus wants to know everything we are doing”
May 18, 2017
Strzok: “For me, and this case [the Russia collusion investigation, which Strzok was a part of until being removed for bias], I personally have a sense of unfinished business. I unleashed it with [the Clinton investigation]. Now I need to fix it and finish it.”
Strzok: “you and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there.”
Nov. 9, 2016
Page: “Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society.”