The Justice Department’s watchdog has found that FBI official Peter Strzok, a main player in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, texted about stopping Donald Trump from becoming president, Bloomberg News first reported.
The report due out Thursday from Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, says Strzok sent an electronic text to FBI colleague Lisa Page on Aug. 8, 2016, three months before Trump defeated Clinton.
Page, an FBI lawyer, had asked him if Trump could be elected president.
Strzok replied: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”
As of this writing, the Office of Inspector General had not released the report on its website, but was scheduled to do so.
Horowitz writes in the report, according to Bloomberg, that “we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.”
But, referring to Strzok and Page, the the inspector general writes that “the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”
The report also is critical of then-FBI Director James Comey, who Trump ousted in May 2017.
“While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice,” Horowitz writes.
Clinton, while serving as President Barack Obama’s first secretary of state from 2009 through 2012, did official business through email using a private server.
The FBI found that Clinton sent and received classified information, but determined she didn’t do so intentionally. The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee has blamed the investigation and Comey for her loss.
Horowitz announced he would look into the Clinton probe in January 2017.