Text messages between the two FBI lovers reveal the bureau was preparing to give talking points to President Obama over its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Nathan Rousseau Smith reports.
WASHINGTON – A Republican senator said Wednesday that text messages between two FBI officials who had been assigned to the investigation into Russia’s alleged election interference suggest that former President Obama was tracking developments in the bureau’s inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.
The tranche of communications Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., released Wednesday include a Sept. 2, 2016, exchange in which FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page discuss talking points that were prepared for then-FBI Director James Comey.
“POTUS (the president) wants to know everything we are doing,” Page told Strzok, according to the texts.
The text message does not directly refer to the Clinton case, which had been closed at that time. And it is unclear from the exchange how Page may have known of Obama’s purported interest or what if any information on the case was shared with the president while the investigation was pending. The Clinton case was briefly reopened days before the November 2016 election, only to be closed again with no recommendation for criminal charges.
There was no immediate response from Obama’s office.
Johnson’s committee, conducting one of several Republican-led congressional inquiries into the FBI’s handling of both the inquiries into the Clinton emails and accusations of Russian election interference, said the texts “warrant further inquiry.”
“Although sometimes cryptic and disjointed due to their nature, these text messages raise several questions about the FBI and its investigation of classified information on Secretary Clinton’s private email server,” Johnson said in an interim report prepared by the committee’s Republican majority.
Republican lawmakers called for the appointment of a second special counsel to review the FBI’s handling of the Clinton and Russia inquiries, in large part based on the thousands of text messages exchanged between the two FBI officials who worked on both high-profile investigations.
When the communications were discovered last summer as part of the Justice Department’s inspector general review of the Clinton case, Russia special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from his staff. By that time, Page had completed her work for Mueller and returned to her job at FBI headquarters.
In their communications, many of them disparaging of Trump, the two officials expressed a clear preference for Clinton.
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