More than 10,000 text messages were exchanged between FBI officials, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. The two were allegedly having an affair, and they both hated Donald Trump.
In one text exchange, the lovers spoke about how to “protect the country from that menace,” referring to Trump. The text messages are relevant because both agents were assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.
Strzok was fired by Mueller and reassigned to the FBI’s human resources division after the exchanges with Page were discovered. Page was briefly on Mueller’s team but has since returned to the FBI.
All the messages carry a common theme: they are anti-Trump. One of the messages sparks more questions than it does answers.
In a text from Aug. 15, 2016, Strzok writes to Page: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” possibly referring to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Although the context of the text is unclear, it raises concerns about what the FBI was doing behind the scenes during the election.
Some of the 10,000 text messages were released to the news media Wednesday. According to Fox News, the texts were originally turned over to the Justice Department watchdog.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Robert Mueller were told in July that two FBI officials working on Mueller’s Russia probe had exchanged a number of anti-Trump text messages throughout the 2016 campaign, according to the Justice Department’s watchdog.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed the information one day after the media obtained more than 375 of the messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The messages were published ahead of Rosenstein’s Wednesday appearance before the House Judiciary Committee.
In a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Horowitz said his office requested text messages from the government-issued phones of several FBI employees involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Strzok played a key role in the email probe, changing former FBI Director James Comey’s early draft language about Clinton’s actions from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” and conducting the FBI interview of Clinton over the July 4 weekend in 2016.
According to Horowitz, “politically-oriented” text messages between Strzok and Page were found in his office’s initial search. That led to the watchdog requesting all messages between the two through the end of last November. Those messages were produced by the FBI on July 20 of this year and Mueller and Rosenstein were informed about them a week later, on July 27.
The following day, Horowitz’s office requested additional messages between Strzok and Page between December 2016 and July 28. Those messages were received on Aug. 10.
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