Comey used personal email to conduct Federal Bureau of Investigation business
- Author: Sonia Alvarado Jun 18, 2018,
Jun 18, 2018, 1:11
The president was responding to questions about the 568-page report released Thursday by the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general (IG) concerning the 2016 FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and address to conduct official US diplomatic business. It did not find evidence that those views seeped into the investigation. Though there's no evidence the device was put on the back-burner to protect Clinton, the watchdog said it could not be certain that Strzok's decision to prioritize the Russian Federation probe over examining the Weiner laptop was "free from bias", especially because Strzok was exchanging anti-Trump text messages at the time. And Trump took it one step further, barreling out of the White House Friday for an unannounced, early-morning television interview that turned into a almost hour-long freewheeling give-and-take with reporters, during which he returned time and again to assert that report had exonerated him amid Mueller's ongoing probe into Russian election interference. He said Strzok did not do the one thing that might have actually helped Clinton and hurt Trump: leak word of the investigation of the Trump campaign.
Former FBI Director James Comey testifies before a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 8, 2017.
Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, said he thinks the report may exonerate Trump even though it passes no judgment on his guilt or innocence. "But in a new, inflammatory text revealed in the report, Page wrote Strzok in August 2016: "(Trump's) not ever going to become president, right?
Giuliani on Fox News Friday morning went so far as to suggest that both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should say "enough is enough" and should "turn to investigate the corrupt investigators and clean up the Federal Bureau of Investigation".
The two lovers were pulled away from Mueller's team when previous text messages came out and revealed their support for Clinton's presidential campaign and contempt for Trump.
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He chastised Clinton for being "extremely careless" but said there was insufficient evidence to charge her with a federal crime.
Sessions praised FBI Director Christopher Wray for his handling of the fallout from the report, saying he was "real proud" of Wray for his remarks Thursday.
But Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from CT, declared that "any effort to use this report as an excuse for shutting down the special counsel's investigation is both disingenuous and unsafe".
Nevertheless, Clinton later blamed her loss to President Trump on Comey, who reopened the investigations into her private emails a week before the October election, after new emails were discovered on the laptop of Anthony Weiner. Mueller removed Strzok from his team after Horowitz disclosed the texts to him.
For months, the Strzok-Page story has drawn a great deal of political interest, primarily because their dislike of Trump and influence within the DOJ have raised questions over the integrity of the department's investigations. "We'll stop it", Mr Strzok responded.