Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok is sworn in before a joint committee hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill July 12, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Peter Strzok fired from FBI
05:24 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

As President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman sat in a federal courthouse Wednesday morning awaiting news of his prison sentence on conspiracy charges, Trump tweeted to rehash recently released testimony from one of his frequent targets: former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

“The just revealed FBI Agent Lisa Page transcripts make the Obama Justice Department look exactly like it was, a broken and corrupt machine,” Trump tweeted. “Hopefully, justice will finally be served. Much more to come!”

The President has frequently criticized a series of text messages Page exchanged with another former FBI official, Peter Strzok, where they disparaged the then-presidential candidate. Both Page and Strzok were involved in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, as well as the early days of the bureau’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and briefly served on the special counsel’s team. Strzok was dismissed from Robert Mueller’s team once the text messages were uncovered by internal investigations. Page left the team before the text messages were discovered.

Both Page and Strzok no longer work at the FBI – Page resigned and Strzok was fired. But their high-level roles in two politically charged investigations have made the two FBI veterans central to GOP, and Trump, claims of bias at the highest levels of the bureau.

Here are the facts.

Clinton investigation

Facts first: Trump’s claims about the Justice Department and Clinton email investigation are not supported by Page’s recent testimony or the conclusions reached by independent investigators.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog conducted an exhaustive review of the FBI’s investigation of Clinton’s handling of a private email server while she was secretary of state. The inspector general concluded in June of last year that “the prosecutors’ decision was based on their assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice in cases involving these statutes.” The over 500-page report goes on to state: “We did not identify evidence of bias or improper considerations.”

Trump tweets on Wednesday: “Comey testified (under oath) that it was a ‘unanimous’ decision on Crooked Hillary. Lisa Page transcripts show he LIED. @jasoninthehouse”

Precisely what “decision” Trump is referencing is unclear. But if the President is referring to Comey’s ultimate decision not to recommend charges, Page’s testimony does not show that former FBI Director James Comey “lied.”

The former FBI director has explained at length why he did not believe there was a substantive case to be made against Clinton for her handling of classified information.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe also backed up Comey’s account, further explaining in his book why the group of FBI officials involved agreed it was best to describe her conduct as “extremely careless,” instead of the more legally damning phrase, “grossly negligent,” since there was agreement that her conduct did not rise to an indictable offense.

Page makes clear in her testimony that Justice Department officials “did not feel they could sustain a charge” against Clinton, but that “nobody had a closed mind.”

She does, however, also explain how other FBI officials nevertheless allegedly engaged in “smack talk” against Clinton.

“I am aware of senior FBI officials talking to subordinate FBI officials on the Hillary Clinton investigative team who unquestionably had anti-Hillary sentiment, but who also said: ‘You have to get her, or — again I don’t have an exact quote — but like we’re counting on you, you know,’” Page testified.

But Page explained those FBI officials were not directly involved in any decision-making about the Clinton investigation and it had no effect on the overall investigation result.

CNN’s Jeremy Herb contributed to this report.