- Gaston De Cardenas/Reuters
- Instant messages between FBI employees assigned to the Hillary Clinton email probe reveal they worried about the investigation’s role in deciding the 2016 election.
- One employee also called President Donald Trump’s voters “poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think we will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing.”
- An internal report by the Department of Justice’s inspector general ultimately found no political bias in the investigation.
In messages exchanged over the FBI’s internal system, agents and attorneys involved in the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server insulted President Donald Trump’s supporters and partially blamed themselves for potentially swaying the election with their probe.
The records of the messages were published in a report from the Department of Justice’s inspector general, which conducted an internal review of the FBI’s handling of the inquiry into the Clinton email investigation.
A goal of the internal investigation was to discern whether or not political bias of the agents involved tainted the credibility of the probe.
A few days before the election, on October 28, 2016, an unidentified lawyer assigned to the Clinton probe team referred to in the report as “FBI Attorney 2” said in messages to colleagues that he had “initiated the destruction of the Republic.”
That day, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congress announcing the re-opening of the Clinton probe just days before the 2016 election. Attorney 2 described the re-opening of the investigation so close to the election as “essentially walking into a landmine” in the report.
In messages exchanged on November 9, 2016 and documented starting on page 417 of the report, FBI Attorney 2 and other FBI employees discuss their distress over the results of the presidential election and insult Trump supporters.
- US Department of Justice
The attorney then wrote, “And it’s just hard not to feel like the FBI caused some of this. It was razor thin in some states… plus, my god damned name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff.”
In the report, FBI Attorney 2 stated that these conversations were with people he considered friends, and he was discussing his political beliefs in an entirely personal capacity and not a professional one. He added that his political views did not in any way influence his work on the Clinton probe.
The inspector general report ultimately “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions.”