It’s the most damning and politically damaging text part of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’ report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email report.
Peter Strozk’s text message exchange with alleged paramour Lisa Page. The two high-level FBI officials were discussing their investigations and the 2016 presidential campaign:
PAGE: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
STRZOK: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
Here’s the important context in this story line:
In early August, just a few weeks after he had helped James Comey exonerate Hillary Clinton, Peter Strzok, the man leading the FBI’s Counterintelligence division, assured Lisa Page that “We’ll stop” Trump from being president.
Who’s “we”? Did he mean the FBI as a whole, or his Counterintelligence division? Or, did he mean he and Page? None of these possible answers are good for Strzok or for Americans looking for an FBI free of political bias.
Now, understand that at the same time Strzok is assuring Page that “we’ll stop” Trump from being president, he was heading up the Russian investigation. He had already begun the major portions of Operation Crossfire Hurricane including the mobilization of Stefan Halper, the confidential human source sent to spy on George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser.
Days later, Strozk and Page, the Chatty-Cathys of the FBI, had another text exchange about the dire circumstances our nation faced if Hillary Clinton didn’t win the 2016 election.
“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,” Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
So Strzok, the man helping to exonerate Hillary Clinton and now in charge of the Trump/Russian FBI investigation says “we’ll stop” Trump from getting elected and “we can’t take the risk” if he does so we better set up an “insurance policy” just in case.
Finally, and possibly most damning of all, the “We’ll stop it” text message was completely omitted from Justice Department disclosure to congress that Republicans had been begging, cajoling and threatening the DOJ for over several months:
I spoke with Byron York of the Washington Examiner just hours after the report was released. I asked him “is there any context where this text exchange isn’t a very big deal?”
“No, I don’t think there is. This was also about 8 days into the Trump investigation. It was in early August of 2016. They were both on the investigation. And by the way, the Inspector General is critical of the FBI’s decision to take the very same people who had just finished the Hillary Clinton investigation in early July, in late July and put them on the Trump investigation. The Inspector General says surely there were other people in the FBI that they could have put on this investigation, but they put the people who had just exonerated Hillary Clinton on.”
My entire interview with York can be heard here on WMAL: