Five FBI employees have been referred by the Justice Department inspector general for investigation in connection with “hostile,” politically charged texts and instant messages.
“Some of these text messages and instant messages mixed political commentary with discussions about the Midyear investigation, and raised concerns that political bias may have impacted investigative decisions,” said the highly anticipated report, which was released Thursday to Congress.
“Midyear” was the name given to the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server to transmit classified information when she was President Obama’s secretary of state.
The Horowitz report spotlighted texts between former FBI counterespionage agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
Page wrote to Strzok: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok replied: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
But there were other FBI employees who demonstrated virulent hatred of the Republican presidential nominee during the 2016 election and after his Nov. 8 victory.
An FBI attorney who worked on Robert Mueller’s special counsel Russia investigation until earlier this year sent anti-Trump text messages to a colleague expressing deep distress over the election outcome and declared in one “Viva le Resistance.”
Among other politically charged messages cited by Horowitz were instant messages between two agents identified only as “Agent 1” and “Agent 5.” The report notes: “Because it is relevant to their explanations, we note that Agent 1 and Agent 5, who are now married, were in a personal relationship that predated their assignment to the Midyear investigation.”
In August 2016, the agents were discussing their jobs.
Agent 1: “I find anyone who enjoys [this job] an absolute f—ing idiot. If you don’t think so, ask them one more question. Who are you voting for? I guarantee you it will be Donald Drumpf.”
Agent 5 replied: “I forgot about drumpf … that’s so sad and pathetic if they want to vote for him. Someone who can’t answer a question. Someone who can’t be professional for even a second.”
In September, the two agents labeled Trump supporters “retarded.”
Agent 5 wrote: “I’m trying to think of a ‘would I rather’ instead of spending time with those people.”
Agent 1 replied, “stick your tongue in a fan??”
Agent 5 later wrote: “I would rather have brunch with trump and a bunch of his supporters like the ones from ohio that are retarded.”
In a Dec. 6, 2016 exchange, Agent 5 complained to Agent 1 about being required to be on call on the day of the presidential inauguration.
Agent 5 said in a message to Agent 1: “f— trump.”
On Feb. 9, 2017, referring to an FBI employee receiving a presidential award for public service, Agent 5 messaged: “I think now that trump is the president, i’d refuse it. it would be an insult to even be considered for it.”
Horowitz said, however, he did not find “documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions.”
“Nonetheless, these messages cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation and the investigation’s credibility.”
The report said five employees, who were not named, have been referred for investigation into whether their messages violated FBI code.
“The FBI will handle these referrals pursuant to the FBI’s disciplinary investigation and adjudication processes, and will impose disciplinary measures as warranted.”
‘I’m with her’
On Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016, Agent 1 and Agent 5 exchanged the following instant messages:
14:21:10, Agent 1: “You think HRC is gonna win right? You think we should get nails and some boards in case she doesnt”
14:21:56, Agent 5: “she better win… otherwise i’m gonna be walking around with both of my guns.”
14:22:05, Agent 5: “and likely quitting on the spot”
14:28:43, Agent 1: “You should know;…..”
14:28:45, Agent 1: “that”
14:28:50, Agent 1: “I’m…..”
14:28:56, Agent 1: “with her.”
14:28:58, Agent 1: “ooooooooooooooooooo”
14:29:02, Agent 1: “show me the money”
14:29:03, Agent 5: “<:o)”
14:29:14, Agent 5: “screw you trump”
14:19:18, Agent 5: “wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!”
14:29:32, Agent 5: “go baby, go! let’s give her Virginia”
14:30:03, Agent 1: “not to my country. You just cant get up and try to appeal to all the worst things in humans and fool my country….”
14:30:12, Agent 1: “Just 49% of us…..”
14:30:25, Agent 5: “let’s hope it’s 49% or less…”
14:30:31, Agent 5: “we’ll find out…”
The Horowitz report documented an exchange the day after the 2016 presidential election between lawyer who worked on the Clinton and Russia investigations, identified as “FBI Attorney 2,” and an FBI employee who was not involved in the investigation.
The Daily Caller reported the attorney was assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation soon after it began in May 2017 but left in late February 2018 after some of his private messages were shown to the special counsel.
The Nov. 9, 2016 exchange:
09:38:14, FBI Attorney 2: “I am numb.”
09:55:35, FBI Employee: “I can’t stop crying.”
10:00:13, FBI Attorney 2: “That makes me even more sad.”
10:43:20, FBI Employee: “Like, what happened?”
10:43:37, FBI Employee: “You promised me this wouldn’t happen. YOU PROMISED.”
10:43:43, FBI Employee: Okay, that might have been a lie…”
10:43:46, FBI Employee: “I’m very upset.”
10:43:47, FBI Employee: “haha”
10:51:48, FBI Attorney 2: “I am so stressed about what I could have done differently.”
10:54:29, FBI Employee: “Don’t stress. None of that mattered.”
10:54:31, FBI Employee: “The FBI’s influence.”
10:59:36, FBI Attorney 2: “I don’t know. We broke the momentum.” 11:00:03, FBI Employee: “That is not so.”
11:02:22, FBI Employee: “All the people who were initially voting for her would not, and were not, swayed by any decision the FBI put out. Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing. They probably didn’t watch the debates, aren’t fully educated on his policies, and are stupidly wrapped up in his unmerited enthusiasm.”
11:11:43, FBI Attorney 2: “I’m just devastated. I can’t wait until I can leave today and just shut off the world for the next four days.”
11:12:06, FBI Employee: “Why are you devastated?”
11:12:18, FBI Employee: “Yes, I’m not watching tv for four years.”
11:14:16, FBI Attorney 2: “I just can’t imagine the systematic disassembly of the progress we made over the last 8 years. ACA is gone. Who knows if the rhetoric about deporting people, walls, and crap is true. I honestly feel like there is going to be a lot more gun issues, too, the crazies won finally. This is the tea party on steroids. And the GOP is going to be lost, they have to deal with an incumbent in 4 years. We have to fight this again. Also Pence is stupid.”
11:14:58, FBI Employee: “Yes that’s all true.”
11:15:01, FBI Attorney 2: “And it’s just hard not to feel like the FBI caused some of this. It was razor thin in some states.”
11:15:09, FBI Employee: “Yes it was very thin.”
11:15:23, FBI Attorney 2: “Plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”
11:15:24, FBI Employee: “But no I absolutely do not believe the FBI had any part.”
11:15:33, FBI Attorney 2: “So, who knows if that breaks to him what he is going to do.”
The Horowitz report said that as part of the review, FBI Attorney 2 was asked about the exchange.
The attorney explained: “I’d say that we’re just discussing our personal feelings on [the outcome of the election] between friends, yeah.”
When asked about the FBI employee meant by “[y]ou promised me this wouldn’t happen,” the attorney said he “did not promise [the employee] anything.”
“I think, again, it’s just kind of the way that [the employee] and I converse. We tend to exaggerate some statements back and forth to one another.”