Political News

Trump Wrongly Links Departures of Two FBI Officials to Russia Investigation

Posted May 7, 2018 2:30 p.m. EDT

President Donald Trump said in a Twitter post Monday:

“Lisa Page, who may hold the record for the most Emails in the shortest period of time (to her Lover, Peter S), and attorney Baker, are out at the FBI as part of the Probers getting caught? Why is Peter S still there? What a total mess. Our Country has to get back to Business!”

The Facts

This requires context.

Trump is questioning why Lisa Page and James A. Baker, two former FBI officials, left the bureau last week, seeming to suggest that their departures had something to do with their roles in the Russia investigation. The two lawyers had previously advised James Comey, the former FBI director.

But as The New York Times reported May 4, their departures were voluntary and unrelated. And in Baker’s case, he told The Times that he would be writing for Lawfare, a national security law blog affiliated with the Brookings Institution.

Contrary to Trump’s suggestion, neither was forced out of the FBI. Though they were both at points involved in the Russia investigation, neither was part of the special counsel’s inquiry when they resigned.

During the 2016 election, Page exchanged messages with Peter Strzok, an agent involved in the Russia investigation, that expressed views critical of Trump and other political figures.

Strzok was removed from the investigation last summer and reassigned to the FBI’s human resources department.