A Justice Department inspector general report released Thursday revealed a second set of lovers working on the Clinton email investigation who exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Clinton messages.
The two FBI employees — identified as “Agent 1” and “Agent 5” in the report — were both assigned to the investigation known as “Midyear.”
Agent 1 was one of four case agents on the investigation — responsible for the “day-to-day” activities of the investigation and one of two agents who interviewed Hillary Clinton. Agent 5 was on the Midyear “filter” team, charged with filtering out all privileged communications from being investigated as part of the probe.
They are the second pair of FBI officials on the investigation who expressed hostility towards Donald Trump and support for Hillary Clinton, other than Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were having an affair while married to other people.
The inspector general found several instant message exchanges on the internal FBI communications system between Agents 1 and 5, where they expressed those views to each other, as well as to other FBI employees.
After interviewing Clinton as part of the investigation on July 2, 2016, Agent 1 messaged another FBI employee that he had finished “interviewing the President,” in reference to Clinton.
After the FBI employee expressed confusion, Agent 1 said, “you know — HRC.”
The day after former FBI Director James Comey sent his letter to Congress reopening the Clinton email investigation on October 28, 2016, Agent 1 messaged Agent 5: “Not sure if Trump or the fifth floor is worse,” in reference to the FBI’s counterintelligence division’s office.
On August 29, 2016, Agent 1 mocked fellow FBI employees while referring to Trump pejoratively as “Donald Drumpf.”
“I find anyone who enjoys [this job] an absolute fucking idiot. If you dont think so, ask them one more question. Who are you voting for? I guarantee you it will be Donald Drumpf.”
Agent 5 responded: “that’s so sad and pathetic if they want to vote for him.”
On September 9, 2016, Agent 5 messaged Agent 1 in reference to things they would rather do than spending time with an unspecified group of people: “i would rather have brunch with trump and a bunch of his supporters like he ones from ohio that are retarded.”
On election day, Agent 5 messaged Agent 1: “she better win… otherwise i’m gonna be walking around with both of my guns.”
After the election, Agent 5 complained to Agent 1 about having to be on call during Trump’s inauguration: “fuck trump.”
Agent 5 also talked about refusing a presidential award for public service: “I think now that trump is the president, i’d refuse it. it would be an insult to even be considered for it.”
Both Agents 1 and 5 denied that their personal feelings impacted the investigation.
They were two of five FBI employees who worked on the Clinton email and Trump investigations and expressed hostile views of Trump via personal messages.
But unlike Strzok and Page, Agent 1 and Agent 5, the report noted, are now married.
Although the IG report said their messages could not be linked to specific decisions reviewed by the inspector general, it said they cast a “cloud” over the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
“Our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text messages and instant messages to the specific investigative decisions we reviewed,” it said.
“Nonetheless, the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the FBI Midyear investigation and sowed doubt [over] the FBI’s work on, it’s handling of, the Midyear investigation,” it said.
“Moreover, the damage caused by their actions extends far beyond the scope of the Midyear investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI’s reputation for neutral factfinding and political independence.”
The report said the messages potentially violate FBI codes and guidelines, including related to Offense Codes 1.7 (Investigative Deficiency — Misconduct Related to Judicial Proceedings).
FBI Director Christopher Wray said at a press conference later in the afternoon that some FBI employees have been referred for internal investigation and vowed to hold them accountable.
“I would just say that there are a number of instances in the report where there’s conduct that’s highlighted. We’ve had that referred to our — as I say, our disciplinary arm, our [Office of Professional Responsibility],” he said. “There’s a process for that. It’s a tough process. It’s a rigorous process, and we expect it to be followed. And, once that process is complete, we won’t hesitate to hold people accountable.”