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7 Feb, 2018 16:08

Newly revealed FBI texts raise questions about Obama's involvement in Clinton email probe

Newly revealed FBI texts raise questions about Obama's involvement in Clinton email probe

Newly revealed text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page show an exchange in which Page said Barack Obama wanted "to know everything we're doing" regarding the Hillary Clinton email probe.

"Potus wants to know everything we're doing," Page texted Strzok on September 2, 2016, according to a report titled 'The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI's Investigation of it.' The report was released by majority staff of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Tuesday. 

The text exchange between Strzok and attorney Page - both of whom previously worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation team on alleged Russian meddling - took place as part of a conversation about former FBI Director James Comey, who had been developing talking points for Obama regarding the investigation. It raises further questions about Obama's personal involvement in the Clinton email investigation, despite "guaranteeing" that he wouldn't get involved.

Further questions have been raised by other text messages revealed in the report, including one sent by Strzok to Page on September 28, 2016. "Got called up to Andy's [McCabe] earlier... hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner's atty to sdny [Southern District of New York], includes a ton of material from spouse [Human Abedin]. Sending team up tomorrow to review... this will never end."

That text message raises questions about when senior FBI officials learned of relevant emails on the laptop belonging to Human Abedin's husband, former congressman Anthony Weiner, the report states. It wasn't until a full month later that Comey informed Congress that the FBI was reopening its Clinton email probe "due to recent developments."

Other text messages showed more examples of Strzok's and Page's disdain for Donald Trump. "OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING," Page wrote on the day Trump was elected. "Omg, I am so depressed," Strzok replied.

The texts between Strzok and Page have fueled the arguments of Republicans, who have alleged the existence of an anti-Trump bias within the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ). Those allegations were strengthened in January, when it emerged that the FBI had reportedly lost five months of texts between the two lovers. The DOJ announced two days later that the messages had been found. 

Strzok, who was one of the lead agents in the Clinton email probe, was removed from Mueller's Russia investigation team in July 2017, after Mueller learned of the texts. Page left the team before the messages were discovered.