Newly released texts reveal Strzok and Page conspired to release information intended to damage Trump on Russiagate
The Department of Justice is taking its own sweet time releasing information "requested" (not demanded) by House committees investigating the handling of Russiagate by the DoJ and its agency, the FBI. The latest batch of information sent to Rep. Mark Meadows reveals prima facie evidence of a conspiracy to damage the newly formed Trump administration in 2017 by the lovebirds Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
Sara Carter broke the story yesterday:
The review of the documents suggests that the FBI and DOJ coordinated efforts to get information to the press that would potentially be "harmful to President Trump's administration." Those leaks pertained to information regarding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant used to spy on short-term campaign volunteer Carter Page.
Rep. Meadows fired off a letter (text here) listing several examples:
April 10, 2017: (former FBI Special Agent) Peter Strzok contacts (former FBI Attorney) Lisa Page to discuss a "media leak strategy." Specifically, the text says: "I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go."
April 12, 2017: Peter Strzok congratulates Lisa Page on a job well done while referring to two derogatory articles about Carter Page. In the text, Strzok warns Page two articles are coming out, one which is "worse" than the other about Lisa's "namesake"." Strzok added: "Well done, Page." ...
The letter notes that the two text messages in April 2017 were during the same time frame as the FBI and DOJ officials were having conversations with reporters. During that time the Washington Post "broke a story on the Carter Page FISA application on April 11, 2017, setting off a flurry of articles suggesting connections between President Trump and Russia."
Strzok and Page were not rogue agents operating alone, it appears.
Weissmann, a top prosecutor on the Mueller team, had met with reporters from the Associated Press in April 2017 just one day before their explosive story on Paul Manafort's dealings with Ukraine officials. ...
The AP meeting arranged by Weissmann came to light in a letter sent to Justice Department Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-CA, late last year, requesting specific FBI and DOJ documentation related to the controversial Fusion GPS dossier that alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
That meeting with the AP was attended by three different litigating offices. Two employees from the U.S. Justice Department and the other representative was from the U.S. Attorney's office, according to the sources. FBI agents also attended the meeting, law enforcement sources confirmed.
According to sources, the FBI agents in attendance filed a complaint about Weissmann and the meeting with the DOJ fearing his arrangement of such a meeting would hurt the investigation.
We have no information on any DoJ investigation into this scandal. Maybe there is a U.S. attorney working in secret on this political weaponization of the DoJ and FBI. Such investigations are supposed to be secret. In the meantime, the potential defendant is in charge of deciding when – if ever – to release information that reflects badly on it. The fact that these text messages were only now released looks a lot like a cover-up that lasted too long. How and why the DoJ decides when to release what information is a matter that ought to be criminally investigated. The Hatch Act, at a minimum, could be invoked to subpoena Strzok, Page, and Weissman relating to their efforts to influence the election, and I suspect there could be criminal prosecution of the unauthorized release of information through leaks.
Rowan Scarborough of the Washington Times summarizes the next steps Rep. Meadows seeks:
Mr. Meadows told Mr. Rosenstein that the new discoveries should prompt the Justice Department to turn over messages from three other FBI and Justice officials who may have communicated with Mr. Strzok, Ms. Page and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
Mr. Meadows also wants communications with Andrew Weissmann, a top deputy to Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller.
The House task force investigating the FBI's 2016-17 Trump probe is comprised of two of the chamber's regular committees – Oversight and Government Reform, and Judiciary.