Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has concluded that former FBI Director James Comey, FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page were not motivated by political bias.
“While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice,” Horowitz’s report concluded, according to Bloomberg.
Horowitz also concluded that Page and Strzok, who exchanged text messages critical of President Trump during the 2016 presidential race, didn’t “directly” affect “the specific investigative actions we reviewed.”
“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed,” the report read.
“The conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”
The Hill added:
Page and Strzok have faced a barrage of attacks by conservatives who say their “anti-Trump” text messages serve as proof of systemic bias against the president.
Conservative critics have homed in specifically on the fact that they served on two key investigations: the probe into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified materials while secretary of State and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, including any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Mueller promptly removed Strzok from his investigative team after an internal review conducted by Horowitz discovered the texts. Page has since left the bureau.