Text messages sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal that then-President Barack Obama wanted to know everything they were working on.
In the exchange, Strzok and Page discuss preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey who was briefing Obama.
Obama wanted “to know everything we’re doing,” wrote Page to Strzok in one of the messages obtained by Fox News.
The messages were among thousands of text messages first obtained by the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General, and are now in the hands of Congress.
Strzok was the lead FBI agent on both the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and alleged collusion between Donald Trump and Russia.
He later became part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team but was fired last year after the text messages had emerged.
The messages show Strzok and Page have a clear bias in favor of Clinton and a general disdain for Trump and his supporters.
While it is not strange for a sitting president to be made aware of such high profile investigations, it raises concerns that Obama might have been personally involved in them and implicated in any inappropriate or illegal activity that was part of those investigations.
The FBI investigation into whether Clinton had sent classified information using a private email server became perhaps the biggest stumbling block of her presidential run. The still unproven narrative that Trump colluded with Russia to win the elections, became one of the main attack lines against Trump.
FBI Director James Comey testified under oath before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2016, that Obama’s Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, had instructed him to describe the investigation into Clinton as a “matter” instead of a “criminal investigation.”
“That concerned me because that language tracked the way the campaign was talking about FBI’s work and that’s concerning,” Comey said.
It was also revealed that Comey drafted the exoneration statement of Clinton well before the FBI investigation was concluded and before key witnesses, including Clinton herself, had been interviewed.
Strzok was among the agents who made changes to the draft of the exoneration statement Comey delivered in July 2016.
Other FBI agents removed a reference to Obama from Comey’s draft statement, according to a letter sent by the chairman of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
In 2015, Obama was forced to retract a statement that he had not known about Clinton’s use of a private email server until it had come out publicly.
Obama had, in fact, emailed Clinton on her private email address multiple times, Obama’s White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest admitted in March 2015. That admission suggests that, like Clinton, Obama might have been guilty of mishandling classified information, by communicating it through non-secure channels. If Obama were guilty of mishandling classified information in his communications with Clinton, that might have influenced the decision not to prosecute Clinton for the same crime.
FBI documents published in September 2016 also revealed that Obama used a pseudonym when communicating with Clinton by email.