FBI attorney: “Vive La Resistance” Against President Trump
An unnamed FBI attorney who previously worked on the Robert Mueller/Russia investigation until early 2018 sent anti-Trump text messages to a colleague, including one that exclaimed “Viva Le Resistance.” The attorney’s comments are revealed in Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz report which was released on Thursday. The lawyer has yet to be identified, however, he worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigation and was the FBI’s lead attorney on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.
The Horowitz report focuses specifically on instant messages that the attorney exchanged with a colleague about the Clinton and Russia investigations. “I am numb,” the attorney wrote on November 9, 2016. “I am so stressed about what I could have done differently,” the lawyer continued. The attorney messages show he was distressed about the FBI’s decision in October 2016 to reopen the investigation into Clinton emails. “Is it making you rethink your commitment to the Trump administration?” one FBI lawyer wrote on November 22, 2016. “Hell no. Viva le resistance,” the future Mueller attorney responded.
During interviews with Horowitz, the unnamed attorney acknowledged that the messages created the perception of anti-Trump bias. Further, he stated he “can understand the perception issues that come from” the November 22, 2016 exchanges.
The Horowitz report also revealed new evidence that an FBI agent and an agency lawyer plotted to keep President Donald Trump from winning the election. An August 8, 2016 text message exchange between FBI agent Peter Strzok, a key FBI investigator into the probe of Russian election meddling and Hillary Clinton’s email server wrote to his colleague and lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, that “we’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming President. Page allegedly wrote to Strzok “Trump’s not ever going to become President right? Right?!”. Strzok allegedly responded in the August 2016 exchange “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed the pair from the investigation once their emails were discovered, and Page later resigned from her position. The Horowitz report is also critical of former FBI Director James Comey for his handling of the probe, however, stopped short of stating his actions were based on political bias. President Trump is expected to be briefed on the 500-page report today and it is widely expected he will use the Horowitz report to continue to be critical of Comey and the Justice Department. However, the report does state there is no evidence that the election was “rigged” in Clinton’s favor. Horowitz wrote that the Clinton saga was ‘not the first time the DOJ and the FBI have conducted a politically-charged investigation and it will not be the last.’
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has defended the DOJ’s internal investigations, stating on Thursday “this has been a prolonged and painful process for the Department and the FBI. But this is not the end of the process.” Several top Justice Department and FBI officials have been under scrutiny in the Horowitz probe, including Strzok, Page, Loretta Lynch, and former FBI director Andrew McCabe. Some Republican member of Congress demanded copies of Horowitz’s initial drafts, suggesting the final version was “watered down for partisan reasons”.
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