Newly released texts between an FBI lawyer and an agent who was once part of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team show that then-President Barack Obama was apparently keeping tabs on the agency’s investigation into the Hillary Clinton email scandal.
The texts were released as part of a report prepared by Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., titled, “The Clinton Email Scandal And The FBI’s Investigation Of It.”
One set of texts released with the report — between Peter Strzok, one of the top FBI agents who was assigned to the Mueller investigation, and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer — revealed the FBI employees had been tasked with preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey because Obama apparently wanted to be kept abreast of the case.
In one Sept. 2, 2016, text exchange between Strzok and Page — who were romantically involved — Page writes that she was preparing the talking points because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” Potus is an acronym for president of the United States.
The report says that “this text raises additional questions about the type and extent of President Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email scandal and the FBI investigation of it.”
It adds that other questions that “deserve further examination,” including, “Whether, and the extent to which, any personal animus and/or political bias influenced the FBI’s investigation; Whether, and the extent to which, the Obama Department of Justice or White House influenced the FBI’s investigation; and Whether, and the extent to which, any personal animus and/or political bias.”
After the report’s release, Johnson told NBC News that the texts were “totally candid, unvarnished” and “just raise an awful lot of questions.”
When asked, Johnson would not offer a vote of confidence in the current leadership at the FBI and the Department of Justice, saying only that he had “questions about some top level managers in those departments.”
The release of the texts comes two months after Department of Justice previously released 90 pages of text messages, in which the FBI employees expressed harsh criticism of then-candidate Donald Trump. When Mueller learned of the emails last summer, he removed Strzok from the team, a spokesman for Mueller’s office said.
Republicans have seized upon those text messages as evidence of a coordinated anti-Trump effort within the FBI, and Trump himself wasted no time in reacting to the latest texts.
“NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!” the president tweeted Wednesday morning.