FBI officials Jim Baker, Lisa Page resign from bureau

By Chuck Ross and Bradford Betz

FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

The FBI attorney who exchanged anti-Trump text messages with another bureau official resigned on Friday, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.

The FBI confirmed that the lawyer, Lisa Page, tendered her resignation.

Page has faced months of scrutiny over the text messages, which she exchanged with Peter Strzok, the former deputy chief of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.

The exchanges show a deep hostility to President Donald Trump at a time when the two officials were working on the FBI’s investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government. Some of the texts show Strzok and Page cryptically discussing how to proceed with the investigation, which was opened on July 31, 2016.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok wrote to Page in an Aug. 15, 2016 text referring to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” he added.

“OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING,” Page wrote to Strzok on Election Day, Nov. 8, 2016.

F Trump,” Strzok wrote in another text.

The Justice Department’s office of the inspector general discovered the biased text messages as part of the watchdog’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Page and Strzok also worked closely on the Clinton probe.

As the FBI’s No. 2 counterintelligence official, Strzok oversaw the FBI’s investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government. On the Clinton email investigation, Strzok conducted interviews with Clinton and her top aides.

Both Strzok and Page also served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, which began on May 17, 2017.

Page worked for several weeks on the Mueller team before returning to her position as one of McCabe’s counselors. Strzok worked on the Mueller investigation until July 28, 2017, when Michael Horowitz, the DOJ’s inspector general, notified Mueller of the scandalous text messages.

Page is also a central player in Horowitz’s investigation of McCabe. She is the FBI official who McCabe instructed to speak to The Wall Street Journal regarding an October 2016 article about the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. McCabe authorized Page to leak to The Journal “in a manner designed to advance his personal interests at the expense of Department leadership,” Horowitz determined.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on March 16 based upon a recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR).

Horowitz released a report on April 13 that alleged McCabe gave inaccurate and incomplete statements about his authorization of the media leaks. The report, which dinged McCabe for a “lack of candor,” said he initially denied to both the OPR and the inspector general that he authorized Page to speak with The Journal.

Horowitz is expected to release a report this month that will focus more heavily on Strzok and Page. Strzok was sent to the FBI’s human resources division after his removal from the Mueller team.

An attorney for Page did not respond to requests for comment about the resignation.

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The two FBI officials who worked closely with embattled former bureau director James Comey have left the agency, Fox News has confirmed.

Jim Baker, a top FBI lawyer who was reassigned in late 2017 after being linked to a journalist who wrote about the so-called “Trump dossier,” is reportedly looking to join the Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank.

Comey acknowledged Baker’s departure in a tweet, commending his former colleague’s “integrity” and “commitment to the rule of law.”

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