The hundreds of text messages that the Department of Justice tried their best to hide from lawmakers have finally come out into the light after what reporter Sara Carter describes as a “long drawn out battle behind closed doors between the DOJ and Congressional leaders.” The messages between FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and Bureau attorney Lisa Page have been sought by Republican lawmakers for months. At first, they were told that they didn’t exist, having been lost in a technical switchout when the Bureau changed phones. When that ridiculous lie became apparent, the Justice Department magically recovered the messages. Now, finally, they have turned them over to Congress.
“We’re expecting them this afternoon,” a Capitol Hill official told Carter on Thursday. “We hear it could be explosive stuff.”
What we’ve already seen from the Strzok-Page texts could also be described as “explosive stuff,” so we can only imagine what will come out in the next few days. These two agents had an agenda against Donald Trump from the moment they started chatting about him over text. That might not be a problem or a big deal…except for the fact that Strzok was one of the primary investigators on both the Trump/Russia collusion case and the Hillary Clinton email investigation. And some of the messages sent between himself and his lover have led congressional observers to wonder if these agents were letting their political biases color their police work.
The new “missing” messages cover the time period from December 2016 to May 2017, an important time in Trump’s transition from candidate to president. As Carter notes, “it was also during that time that members of the Obama administration were unmasking members of the Trump campaign in electronic and telephonic communications.” It will be interesting to see if there is any reference to that unmasking campaign in the newly-recovered messages.
Already, a few interesting exchanges have been publicized from the new batch of texts. In one conversation, Strzok and his lover console each other in the aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s impromptu firing.
“Having a tough time processing tonight, Lis,” Strzok wrote. “Feeling a profound sense of loss.”
“I feel that same loss,” Page replied. “I want to see what the FBI could become under him! His vision of greatness for our strong but flawed organization. I’m angry. Angry and morning.”
But it was this message from Strzok, also written immediately after Comey was fired, that is likely to draw intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill: “We need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting.”
There has been no word yet on what “case” he’s referring to, but the “Andy” referenced is certainly Andrew McCabe, who took over as Acting Director of the FBI when Comey was sent packing.
McCabe, of course, was fired recently for lying to internal investigators about leaks he authorized to the Wall Street Journal.