On Friday FBI agent Peter Strzok was escorted out of the Federal Building for what is being reported by multiple sources as an internal disciplinary matter. His attorney Aitan Goelman confirmed on Tuesday via a publicly released letter, that as of Tuesday Strzok was still employed by the FBI.
His escort out of the FBI building came just a day after the Inspector General report detailing the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation during the 2016 presidential election cycle was released to the public.
Strzok a lead agent handling the Hillary Clinton and Russian Election Meddling investigations. Who also briefly worked with Special Counsel Robert Muller’s team, until July 2017. Came under fire for sending “anti-Trump,” texts to special counsel to the Deputy Director Lisa Page.
Chapter twelve (pg. 395 of the PDF) of the linked IG report gives a detailed account of the text messages, instant messages, use of personal email, and alleged improper disclosures of non-public information.
One text that seems to raise the most issues with pundits and non-pundits alike is a text that appears on page 404 of the PDF.
August 8th, 2016
Page: Trump’s not ever going to become president, right? Right?!
Strzok: No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.
When asked by the Inspector General’s office to explain the text Strzok said he was simply trying to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected and that he wasn’t suggesting that he would do something to impact the investigation. Strzok also explained that if he or the FBI in general wanted to prevent Trump from being elected “they would not have maintained the confidentiality of the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and members of the Trump campaign in the months before the election.”
Page expressed similar sentiments to the IG telling the investigators, “the FBI’s decision to keep the Russia investigation confidential before the election shows that they did not take steps to impact the outcome of the election.”
On page iii of the Executive Summary the IG states, “In particular, we were concerned about text messages exchanged by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Special Counsel to the Deputy Director, that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
In that same section the IG found, “As we describe in Chapter Five of our report, we found that Strzok was not the sole decision maker for any of the specific Midyear investigative decisions we examined in that chapter.”
On Sunday Strzok attorney Goelman spoke to The Washington Post on behalf of Strzok and explained that Strzok is willing to testify before the House Judiciary Committee or any other committee that asks. Goelman also told the Post his client will do so without any kind of immunity and that he would not invoke his Fifth Amendment rights to any question asked, “He wants a chance to clear his name,” Goelman said.
Lisa Page resigned from the FBI in May of 2018.