New text messages between two top FBI officials who appeared to favor Hillary Rodham Clinton over Donald Trump in their probes of the two show they were scared stiff that Trump would win.
In texts released by a Senate investigating committee, FBI lawyer Lisa Page wrote FBI investigator Peter Strzok in may 2016: “Holy shit [Ted] Cruz just dropped out of the race. It’s going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable.”
Strzok responded, “What?!?!??” and Page wrote, “You heard it right my friend.”
The two have been the face of allegations that the FBI was biased during the 2016 election, especially after discussing wishes that Clinton win despite being involved in the probes of Clinton’s private email system and Russian influence in the election.
Sen. Ron Johnson, the Wisconsin Republican who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said in releasing the new texts that the FBI “failed to preserve” five months worth of text messages between Strzok and Page at a critical juncture of the election.
The FBI had told him that technical issues meant it could not recover texts between the two from December 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017. He demanded answers in his letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Strzok was deputy chief of counterintelligence and oversaw the Trump investigation when it was opened in July 2016. He had worked on the Clinton email scandal. He was removed after Justice discovered his messages with Page, who he was having an affair with.
The text exchanges released by Johnson showed that the two knew of efforts to water down former FBI Director James B. Comey’s statement clearing Clinton of wrongdoing in the email scandal.
In fact, the original statement was going to reveal that Clinton wrongly used her personal email in an exchange with “the president while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary. Given that combination of factors, we assess it is possible that hostile actors gained access to Secretary Clinton’s personal email account.”
But later that same day, June 30, 2016, the phrase “the president” was replaced with “another senior government official.”
And Strzok notified Page about it.
The eventual statement scrubbed the whole reference.
Johnson also said that the duo also suggested in texts that then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch “was aware that [FBI] Director Comey would not recommend criminal charges in the Clintin investigation prior to Attorney General Lynch’s announcement that she would accept whatever recommendation the FBI made.”
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com