FBI Agent Praised Hillary Clinton While He Was Leading Email Investigation
FBI agent Peter Strzok praised Hillary Clinton and said he would vote for her for president while also leading the investigation into her possible mishandling of classified information.
In March 2016, Strzok sent his mistress Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, text messages saying that “Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0.”
And asked who he would vote for in the election, Strzok told Page: “I suppose Hillary.”
Strzok also referred to himself as a “conservative Dem” in one exchange.
The text messages are included in a trove of messages released on Tuesday night, ahead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. (RELATED: Strzok Called Trump An ‘Idiot’ In Texts To FBI Lawyer)
Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation over the summer after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered the text messages.
Republicans have called foul over the communications because of Strzok’s central role in both the Clinton email probe but also the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
Strzok and Page also sent messages disparaging Trump, calling him an “idiot.”
A month before Strzok sent his pro-Clinton texts, he conducted an interview with Jake Sullivan, a former State Department official and Clinton aide who sent many of the classified emails that ended up on Clinton’s private email server.
FBI records show that Strzok interviewed Sullivan on Feb. 27, 2016.
Strzok, who at the time served as the FBI’s No. 2 counterintelligence official, would go on to interview several Clinton and several of her aides over the next few months.
He interviewed Huma Abedin on April 5, 2016 and Cheryl Mills on April 9 and May 28, 2016. An interview with Clinton attorney Heather Samuelson was conducted on May 24, 2016, according to FBI records.
Finally, Strzok and Justice Department lawyer David Laufman interviewed Clinton on July 2, 2016.
Three days later, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information.
Strzok and Page’s politically-charged texts continued as he transitioned from the Clinton investigation to the Russia probe.
On July 27, 2016, Page wrote of Clinton, “She just has to to win now.”
“I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about Trump,” she said.
According to various news reports, Strzok was picked to lead the Russia investigation at around the time that message was sent.
Strzok’s exchanges with Page have raised questions about his investigative activities on the Clinton and Trump investigations.
It was revealed earlier this month that Strzok is the FBI official who watered down the language in a statement prepared for Comey. Instead of using the legal term “grossly negligent” to describe Clinton’s email activities, Strzok inserted the phrase “extremely careless.”
Strzok also appears to have gone much easier on Clinton aides that he interviewed in the email probe than he did on Trump associates he met with during the Russia investigation. (RELATED: Top Clinton Aides Faced No Charges For Giving Misleading Statements In Interview With Strzok)
Abedin and Mills, the two Clinton aides, appear to have given misleading statements in their interviews about what they knew about Clinton’s use of a private email server. But neither faced charges for the false statements.
In contrast, former national security adviser Michael Flynn was charged for lying to the FBI during an interview in January. Strzok was one of the agents who conducted the interview.
Follow Chuck on Twitter