FBI agent Peter Strzok was escorted from the FBI headquarters building in Washington, D.C. on Friday (June 15) as part of an "internal disciplinary review." The action was taken without media fanfare and went unreported until Tuesday. If President Donald Trump knew about the removal, he didn’t indicate it in his tweet about Strzok on Sunday (June 17). In that tweet President Trump asked, “Why was the FBI’s sick loser, Peter Strzok, working on the totally discredited Mueller team of 13 Angry & Conflicted Democrats, when Strzok was giving Crooked Hillary a free pass yet telling his lover, lawyer Lisa Page, that “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming President? Witch Hunt!”
Peter Strzok has been a recurring target of President Trump’s tweets, along with special counsel Robert Mueller. The FBI counterintelligence agent has been a lightning rod for the past year, as more and more evidence has become publicly available regarding both his expressions of virulent anti-Trump bias and his actions that tainted two of the most important and high-profile investigations in recent memory. Members of Congress, as well as conservative organizations, websites, and commentators have been clamoring to have him fired.
Strzok is a central figure in the latest report issued by the U.S. Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Among the many revelations in the 568-page IG report that was released last week are new incriminating phone text messages and instant messages between Strzok and his paramour, Lisa Page, a top-level FBI attorney.
The text that has received the most media play lately is an August 8, 2016 text exchange in which Page asked Strzok “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok replied: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
We’ll stop it? Who is “we,” and just how will “we” stop Trump from becoming president? It has become increasingly clear that the plan to stop Trump involved wrapping up the Clinton “investigation” with an exoneration for Hillary, and shifting all DOJ-FBI resources and energy to the Trump-Russia “investigation” (which President Trump has rightfully dubbed a witch hunt).
Strzok and Page played key roles in the FBI investigation of the Clinton e-mail scandal and the FBI’s Trump-Russia collusion investigation, and both were then assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Lisa Page was not just any run-of-the-mill FBI attorney; she was counsel/aide to the FBI’s number two official, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was himself horribly compromised and conflicted with partisan political ties. Page left the Mueller probe last year and resigned from the FBI in May. Mueller cut Strzok from the special counsel team after his earlier damning text messages made it impossible to retain him any longer.
The release of the Horowitz report undoubtedly put pressure on FBI Director Christopher Wray to initiate the recent action against Strzok. Wray and Horowitz were both grilled during testimony before Senate and House committees on Monday and Tuesday (June 18 and 19). In both hearings, Horowitz came under heavy fire from GOP members who criticized his claims in the IG report that although his team found numerous instances of disturbing bias being expressed by FBI employees, they did not find evidence that these biases influenced actions. Referring specifically to the agitated Strzok-Page texts about stopping Trump, the IG report says that they are “not only indicative of a biased state of mind but imply a willingness to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.” Nevertheless, the report says IG investigators “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.”
As we noted in our review of the Horowitz IG report on June 16 ("Inspector General’s Report on FBI: Bombshells, Coverups, Fake News Spin"), the claim that the horrific bias displayed by key FBI operatives had no effect on the investigations flies in the face of the very evidence presented in the report. We reported: “While presenting evidence of blatant bias and appalling actions — by James Comey, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe, and others (details below) — the IG report, nonetheless, exonerates them from charges of bias, bending over backwards to accept incredible, self-serving explanations by the offending parties.”
We noted further that “apparently, in order to make the determination of bias, IG Horowitz requires a full confession or a tape-recorded statement from Comey, or an e-mail or note from him proclaiming, 'I’m doing this because I’m biased for Hillary and against Trump.’”
In the Monday hearing, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley took issue with the obvious FBI-DOJ double standard that gave Hillary Clinton the “kid-glove” treatment, but gave President Trump the “brass-knuckle” treatment.
One of the severest grillings IG Horowitz received in the House came from House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who cited quote after quote from Strzok, Page, and other FBI-DOJ employees indicating a definite “outcome determinative bias,” both before the Clinton e-mail investigation/exoneration was concluded and even before the Trump-Russia collusion investigation began. This is a classic “textbook case” of “outcome determinative bias,” if ever there was one, Gowdy claimed. (See Chairman Gowdy’s statement and questioning of IG Michael Horowitz in the video below.)
Below are some of the many damning texts between the FBI’s Peter Strzok and Lisa Page regarding Donald Trump:
Strzok: “OMG he's an idiot. He's awful. America will get what the voting public deserves. That's what I'm afraid of. God, Hillary should win 100 million to zero."
Strzok: (Making an ominous statement about an “insurance policy” in the outside chance that Trump gets elected. This takes on added significance because the “Andy’s office” reference refers to Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, Page’s boss): "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's 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."
Page: (In a February 24, 2016 text message to Strzok, apparently reminding him to go easy on Hillary Clinton): “One more thing: she might be our next president. The last thing you need us going in there loaded for bear. You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more doj than fbi?”
Strzok: (In reply to Page's message above): “Agreed....”
Strzok: “I am riled up. Trump is a f****** idiot” (Profanity spelled out in original.)
Page: “God trump is a loathsome human.”
Page: “He’s awful.”
Strzok: “God Hillary should win 100,000,000-0.”
Page: “This man cannot be president.”
Page: “[W]hat the f is wrong with people?”
Page: “I cannot believe Donald Trump is likely to be an actual, serious candidate for president.”
Page: “...Donald Trump is an enormous d*uche.”
Strzok: “Trump is a disaster. I have no idea how destabilizing his Presidency would be.”
Strzok: “Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support....”
Page: “The nyt probability numbers are dropping every day. I’m scared for our organization.”
Strzok: “OMG THIS IS F*CKING TERRIFYING.” (Referencing a November 7, 2016 article entitled “A victory by Mr. Trump remains possible.”)
Page: (Asking Strzok) “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok: (Replying to Page text question above): “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
Inspector General Horowitz’s recent report focused on the FBI’s actions in the Clinton e-mail scandal, what the FBI referred to as the “Midyear Exam.” His ongoing probe is looking into charges of abuse in the FBI-DOJ Trump-Russia collusion investigation, as well as the Mueller investigation. However, based on the year-long timeline for producing the latest IG report, it may be unlikely that Horowitz will release the next report before the November midterm elections.
Irony Alert — Peter Strzok Complains of Biased Treatment!
Peter Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement Tuesday, that Strzok is the victim of a process “tainted by political influence.” According to the Strzok advocate: "Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process, and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks."
"Despite being put through a highly questionable process, Pete has complied with every FBI procedure, including being escorted from the building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings," the attorney continued.
"All of this seriously calls into question the impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence. Instead of publicly calling for a long-serving FBI agent to be summarily fired, politicians should allow the disciplinary process to play out free from political pressure," Goelman added.