The Justice Department inspector general has referred five FBI employees for investigation in connection with politically charged texts, revealing in its report on the Hillary Clinton email case that more bureau officials than previously thought were exchanging anti-Trump messages.
The long-awaited report largely dealt with the Justice Department and FBI's handling of the Clinton case but uncovered numerous messages that “appeared to mix political opinion with discussions about the MYE investigation."
MYE, or "Midyear Exam," was the code used in the FBI to refer to the investigation into Clinton’s private email server.
“Some of these text messages and instant messages mixed political commentary with discussions about the Midyear investigation, and raised concerns that political bias may have impacted investigative decisions,” the report read.
The report noted that it was specifically concerned about text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
Strzok and Page, who were romantically involved, both served for a short period of time on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team. Strzok was reassigned following the revelations of his anti-Trump texts. Page resigned last month.
But while many of those texts were made public in late 2017, the IG report revealed a new one in which Strzok vowed to "stop" Trump from becoming president -- and made clear that as many as five total FBI employees exchanged politically charged messages. "The text messages and instant messages sent by these employees included statements of hostility toward then candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton," the report said.
The report revealed instant messages between unnamed agents, labeled “Agent 1” and “Agent 5,” discussing their jobs in August 2016.
“I find anyone who enjoys [this job] an absolute f---ing idiot. If you don’t think so, ask them one more question. Who are you voting for? I guarantee you it will be Donald Drumpf,” Agent 1 sent.
“I forgot about drumpf…that’s so sad and pathetic if they want to vote for him,” Agent 5 responded. “Someone who can’t answer a question. Someone who can’t be professional for even a second.”
In September, Agent 1 and 5 conversed again, bashing Trump supporters as “retarded.”
“I’m trying to think of a ‘would I rather’ instead of spending time with those people,” Agent 5 sent.
Agent 1 asked, “stick your tongue in a fan??”
Agent 5 later wrote: “I would rather have brunch with trump and a bunch of his supporters like the ones from ohio that are retarded.”
The report did not, however, find evidence connecting those political opinions held by FBI officials to decisions made in the Clinton investigation.
“There were clearly tensions and disagreements in a number of important areas between Midyear agents and prosecutors. However, we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions…,” the report read. “Nonetheless, these messages cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation and the investigation’s credibility.”
Futher, the report said that while it found no evidence the views influenced investigative decisions, “five employees” have been referred for investigation into whether the messages violated FBI code.
“The FBI will handle these referrals pursuant to the FBI’s disciplinary investigation and adjudication processes, and will impose disciplinary measures as warranted,” the report read.
It is unclear which five FBI employees have been referred for investigation.
An FBI spokesperson told Fox News Thursday they were not able to comment on the names of the five employees referred for investigation.
The IG report included a new text conversation between Strzok and Page from August 2016.
“[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Page texted Strzok.
“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok responded.
Those texts “caused [the OIG] to question the earlier Midyear investigative decisions in which he was involved, and whether he took specific actions in the Midyear investigation based on his political views,” the report read.
In a statement to Fox News, Strzok’s attorney Aitan Goelman defended Strzok’s work at the FBI.
“After a year-long investigation that included a review of millions of communications and interviews of scores of witnesses, the IG concluded that there is no evidence that the political views of Special Agent Strzok and others in the FBI impacted the handling of the Clinton email investigation,” Goelman said in a statement. “As the Report notes, Special Agent Strzok in particular was consistently thorough and aggressive, sometimes to the point that put him at odds with senior officials at the Department of Justice.”
Goelman added: “While pundits and politicians are using this matter to advance their agendas, the truth about Special Agent Strzok’s character and professionalism is found in the fact that every witness asked by the OIG said that Strzok’s work was never influenced by political views. His dedication to unbiased service is a fact that would be universally echoed by the thousands of people who have worked with Pete during his 26 years of service in the FBI and U.S. Army.”
The report also reveals that one FBI attorney assigned to the special counsel's team was found to have sent politically charged FBINet instant messages to other FBI officials.
That FBI employee sent messages such as: "As I have initiated the destruction of the republic...Would you be so kind as to have a coffee with me this afternoon?"
Another instant message read: "I'm clinging to small pockets of happiness in the dark time of the Republic's destruction."
The report did not reveal this FBI official's name, but did state that the official worked on both the Clinton email investigation and the Russia probe.
The FBI official left the special counsel's team in February of this year, following revelations of his politically charged messages.
The special counsel's office did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment on the investigator who left the team in February.