Justice Department IG Report Says Peter Strzok Had ‘Biased State of Mind’

The long-awaited Justice Department inspector general report on the DOJ and FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation released Thursday concluded that there was no evidence of political bias behind specific decisions taken, but said that there may have been bias behind actions not taken.

Specifically, the inspector general found a text from FBI official Peter Strzok that did evidence bias, and might have been behind the FBI’s lack of action in investigating Clinton emails found on Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

Inspector general investigators found an August 8, 2016 text message exchange between Strzok and his lover FBI lawyer Lisa Page that showed evidence of a “biased state of mind.”

Page had texted Strzok: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president right? Right?!”

Strzok texted back, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

Investigators believe Strzok’s bias may have led to his inaction in September 2016 when Clinton emails were found on Weiner’s laptop and it took weeks before the FBI acted on it.

The report stated:

“Text messages of FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok indicated that he, McCabe, and Priestap discussed the Weiner laptop on September 28. Strzok said that he initially planned to send a team to New York to review the emails, but a conference all with [New York Office] was scheduled instead.

“Additional discussions took place on October 3 and 4, 2016. However, after October 4, we found no evidence that anyone associated with the Midyear investigation, including the entire leadership team at FBI Headquarters, took any action on the Weiner laptop issue until the week of October 24, and then did so only after the Weiner case agent expressed concerns to [Southern District of New York], prompting SDNY to contact the Office of the Deputy Attorney General (ODAG) on October 21 to raise concerns about the lack of action.”

Furthermore, the inspector general report makes it clear that it does not weigh in on any judgment the DOJ or FBI made on the Clinton email case, only investigating whether there was some legal justification behind those decisions, versus actual evidence of political bias found.

The inspector general found that there were legal justifications indeed given — written either at the time or explained afterwards — to decisions made, but stated clearly that it did not make a judgment on those decisions themselves.

Thus, the IG did not weigh on whether fired FBI Director James Comey’s judgment that Clinton did not act with “gross negligence” was correct or not — just whether there was actual evidence of political bias behind it.

The report said Comey’s interpretation of “gross negligence” was based on “core prosecutorial discretion that were for the Department to make.”


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