‘We Can’t Take That Risk’ — FBI Officials Discussed ‘Insurance Policy’ Against Trump Presidency
Two FBI officials who worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation exchanged text messages last year in which they appear to have discussed ways to prevent Donald Trump from being elected president.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok wrote in a cryptic text message to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and his mistress.
“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok wrote in the text, dated Aug. 15, 2016.
Andy is likely Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
The text message is one of 375 released Tuesday night ahead of a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (RELATED: Strzok Called Trump An ‘Idiot’ In Text To Fellow Mueller Investigator)
Several congressional panels have sought the text messages since their existence was revealed earlier this month. Strzok, who was a top investigator on both the Trump investigation and the Clinton email probe, was kicked off of Mueller’s team over the summer after the text messages were discovered.
It remains unclear why the existence of the texts was not disclosed until nearly four months after Strzok was removed from the Mueller investigation.
Strzok and Page’s exchanges show a deep disdain for Trump and admiration for Clinton. In a text sent on Oct. 20, 2016, Strzok called the Republican a “f*cking idiot.”
In on Aug. 6 text, Strzok responded to an article shared by Page by replying, “F Trump.”
The pair exchanged another cryptic text message that same day.
“Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace,” Page wrote.
“I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps,” Strzok replied.
Like many of the exchanges, the full context of the message is not entirely clear.
Strzok also offered praise for Clinton while suggesting that he planned to vote for her.
In a March 2, 2016 text Strzok said he would likely vote for Clinton. In another exchange he wrote that if Trump won the Republican primary, Clinton would likely win the presidency.
“God Hillary should win 100,000,000 – 0,” he told Page.
Strzok also congratulated Page after Clinton clinched the Democratic party nomination.
“Congrats on a woman nominated for President in a major party! About damn time!” he wrote in a July 26, 2016 text.
While he was praising Clinton, Strzok was working at the center of the investigation into the Democrat’s use of a private email server. He emailed Clinton on July 2, 2016 — three days before then-FBI Director James Comey cleared her of criminal wrongdoing. (RELATED: FBI Agent Praised Hillary Clinton While Leading Email Investigation)
In the weeks before and after his politically-charged texts, Strzok interviewed several Clinton aides who sent and received classified emails that ended up on Clinton’s email server.
Two of those aides were Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills. Both appear to have provided misleading responses to questions about their awareness of Clinton’s use of a private server. But despite their false statements, neither Abedin nor Mills were charged with lying to the FBI. (RELATED: Clinton Aides Went Unpunished Despite Giving Misleading Statements In FBI Interview)
That’s in contrast with another Strzok interview subject: Retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn.
Strzok interviewed the then-national security adviser at the White House on Jan. 24 regarding Flynn’s conversations during the presidential transition period with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Flynn pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to the FBI during that interview.
Strzok was picked to oversee the Russia investigation at the end of July 2016, several weeks after the Clinton probe ended.