Trump Wanted To Illegally Leverage The IRS, Sic The Institution On FBI Officials Who Dared To Investigate Him, According To Sworn Testimony From His Own Former Chief Of Staff

The worst part? I'm not even surprised at this point.

667 points

More and more of scandal-plagued former President Donald Trump’s endless string of corruption is coming to light, thanks to a new sworn statement made by Trump’s very own former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, according to new reporting from the New York Times. 

The Times reported yesterday that Kelly swore under oath in his statement that ex-President Trump repeatedly asked about illegally leveraging the Internal Revenue Service to launch an investigation and essentially sic the federal institution on Peter Strzok and Lisa Page; two infamous former FBI agents who were deeply involved in the Mueller-led investigation into Donald’s alleged campaign ties to Russia.

New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt confirmed, “Mr. Kelly said that his recollection of Mr. Trump’s comments to him was based on notes that he had taken at the time in 2018. Mr. Kelly provided copies of his notes to lawyers for one of the F.B.I. officials, who made the sworn statement public in a court filing. ‘President Trump questioned whether investigations by the Internal Revenue Service or other federal agencies should be undertaken into Mr. Strzok and/or Ms. Page,’ Mr. Kelly said in the statement. ‘I do not know of President Trump ordering such an investigation. It appeared, however, that he wanted to see Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page investigated.'”

Schmidt’s report continues:

Mr. Kelly’s assertions were disclosed on Thursday in a statement that was filed in connection with lawsuits brought by Peter Strzok, who was the lead agent in the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation, and Lisa Page, a former lawyer in the bureau, against the Justice Department for violating their privacy rights when the Trump administration made public text messages between them. The disclosures from Mr. Kelly, made under penalty of perjury, demonstrate the extent of Mr. Trump’s interest in harnessing the law enforcement and investigative powers of the federal government to target his perceived enemies. In the aftermath of Richard M. Nixon’s presidency, Congress made it illegal for a president to ‘directly or indirectly’ order an I.R.S. investigation or audit.”

Strzok and Page engaged in what ended up being a rather notorious extramarital affair, leading to Peter being removed from the Russia/Trump investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in response to an influx of Right-wing anger and attacks, over exposed text messages between the pair that expressed their hope that Donald Trump would not be elected to the US presidency.

Ultimately, Strzok was terminated from the Federal Bureau of Investigation altogether, leading the former agent down the path to a wrongful termination lawsuit which claimed he was fired as a result of politically-motived targeting against him.

Just earlier this week, we saw a new development in that case when a federal judge ordered that Strzok was disallowed from deposing former President Trump in the lawsuit until such a point that FBI Director Christopher Wray — this move wasn’t necessarily a win for the ex-president, as it is customary in cases such as this that lower-ranking government officials are questioned before their superiors up the chain.

Read the bombshell full report from the New York Times here.

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