The mystery of why Judge Rudolph Contreras suddenly recused himself on Dec. 7, 2017 from the case against General Michael Flynn, after accepting Flynn’s guilty plea on Dec. 1, has suddenly taken a new twist.

It was surmised that the reason for his recusal may have been that Judge Contreras served on the special court that allowed the FBI to surveil the Trump campaign based on the dubious FISA application.

Now a new report has just been published Friday by Fox News contributer Sara Carter, stating that newly redacted text messages discovered by congressional investigators reveal that Judge Contreras was friends with disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, who had conducted the Jan. 24, 2017 interview of General Flynn.

Strzok was also removed from the Mueller investigation after anti-Trump text messages between himself and his FBI agent lover Lisa Page emerged.

Sara Carter reported: Investigators working with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows, both with the House Oversight Committee, discovered the text messages during their ongoing investigation into the FBI’s handling of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion investigation, the Congressional members told this reporter. Under rules established by DOJ officials, congressional investigators could only review the less-redacted version of the pairs’ text messages at DOJ headquarters and only the highly redacted version of the texts was allowed to be removed during the ongoing process, they said. 

“Why did Contreras recuse himself?” said Jordan. “Text messages show he had a relationship with Strzok… Why did the DOJ make it difficult for us to get the information? To me, those are the two fundamental questions. We don’t know that answers to either one of those. ”

The Daily Caller also reported:

The Justice Department redacted the references to Contreras in 384 pages of text messages provided to Congress. Staffers on the House Judiciary Committee read the underlying documents and have filled in some of the gaps. The unredacted versions of the texts were obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Now, two Republican members of the committee are questioning the DOJ’s handling of the text messages and also asking if Contreras’ recusal is tied to his friendship with Strzok.

In the texts, exchanged on July 25, 2016, Strzok refers to Contreras, an Obama appointee, as his friend. He also appears to acknowledge that the relationship could cause conflicts of interest warranting recusal.

Two months before the exchange, Contreras was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). As the FBI’s deputy chief of counterintelligence at the time, many of Strzok’s investigations went through FISC.

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