Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told “Fox & Friends” that the report casts doubt on whether Trump will ever agree to an interview with Mueller’s team because “why would he get interviewed by a corrupt investigation?”
The report sent shockwaves through conservative circles in Washington, with Trump and his allies claiming the report’s findings – in particular, revelations of more anti-Trump messages sent by Federal Bureau of Investigation employees – were evidence that the top ranks of the Federal Bureau of Investigation are biased against him.
A long-serving law enforcement official, Comey became a controversial figure during the 2016 presidential election, drawing accusations from both Republicans and Democrats that his handling of the probe into Clinton’s emails influenced the campaign.
The report also revealed text messages between agent Peter Strzok and colleague Lisa Page in which Strzok vows to “stop” Trump becoming president.
Strzok was replying to texts from his mistress and fellow FBI agent Lisa Page, who was a subordinate to fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
In fact, she argued, this dynamic stretches into the present and explains why Trump is so obsessed with going after the Justice Department. But the report, by the department’s internal watchdog, does not find evidence that Comey was motivated by political bias or preference in his decisions.
United States president Donald Trump introduces his wife Melania on the first day of the Republican National Convention on July 18, 2016 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Horowitz says Comey’s press conference was not only “extraordinary and insubordinate” but violated Justice Department norms aimed at protecting subjects of investigations that do not result in criminal charges.
Trump’s lawyers have been in negotiations with Mueller’s team since the end of past year over terms of an interview.
In October 2016, less than two weeks before the election, Comey sent members of Congress a letter disclosing that a probe into Clinton’s emails was being reopened after new emails were discovered, a disclosure Clinton contends contributed to her surprise defeat by Trump. The president later said that he had the “Russia thing” in mind when he let go of Comey.
The President on Friday took issue with the report’s conclusion.
After leading the email investigation, Strzok became a top official on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump or his associates colluded with Russian Federation during the 2016 election. “So they’re trying to really downplay it”, she said.