FBI investigator Peter Strzok’s text referring to “an insurance policy” against President Trump was reportedly arguing that the agency should probe allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Strzok was demoted by FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller after he discovered anti-Trump texts exchanged between Strzok and fellow FBI official Lisa Page. While many of the messages were critical of Trump, there was one message in particular that raised eyebrows and caused debate:
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in [Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s] office—that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…”
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the “insurance policy” was not a secret plan, but pushing the Russia probe — a probe that is still ongoing a year into Trump’s first term:
The agent didn’t intend to suggest a secret plan to harm the candidate but rather address a colleague who believed the Federal Bureau of Investigation could take its time because Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was certain to win the election, the people said.
Hillary Clinton did not win the election, and the FBI has come under increasing scrutiny over concerns about impartiality in its investigations of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Russia probe since the release of the text.
According to the Journal, Strzok was arguing they could not take a more careful approach, as Trump could win:
His text was meant to convey his belief that the investigation couldn’t afford to take a more measured approach because Mr. Trump could very well win the election, they said. It would be better to be aggressive and gather evidence quickly, he believed, because some of Mr. Trump’s associates could land administration jobs and it was important to know if they had colluded with Russia.
The Journal reports that he had emphasized his seriousness a few days earlier, texting Page: “OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE WE ARE SERIOUSLY LOOKING AT THESE ALLEGATIONS AND THE PERVASIVE CONNECTIONS.”
Strzok was involved in the interviews of Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills and was reportedly behind the vital change to Comey’s July 2016 statement whereby the description of her handling of classified information was watered down from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”
The texts have sparked the concern of a number of Republican investigators who have cited it as evidence of bias in the bureau.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) described the texts as appearing to “go beyond merely expressing a private political opinion, and appear to cross the line into taking some official action to create an ‘insurance policy’ against a Trump presidency.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) expressed a similar sentiment at a hearing last week:
“High ranking FBI officials involved in the Clinton investigation were personally invested in the outcome of the election and clearly let their strong political opinions cloud their professional judgment and this was only an initial disclosure containing heavy redactions,” he said
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.