A series of text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have rocked the Robert Mueller investigation — and they have President Donald Trump demanding answers.
The exchange has raised “grave concerns” among Republican congressmen about the “apparent systemic culture of media leaking” among top FBI officials trying to undermine President Donald Trump, said North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows, Republican, in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
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The exchange shows Strzok and Page discussing a “media leak strategy” between them and unnamed officials at the Department of Justice.
Conservatives say it’s further evidence of a deep bias among law enforcement agencies against Trump and his efforts to “drain the swamp.” Strzok’s attorney denied the allegations, saying the text messages were only about stopping leaks at the FBI.
“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,” Strzok messaged on Apr. 10, 2017, Meadows letter claims.
The next day, The Washington Post — citing unnamed “law enforcement and other U.S. officials — published a story on the investigation into former Trump aide Carter Page titled, “FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page.”
The article reported that the Department of Justice and the FBI had convinced a FISA judge there was “probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia.”
“Well done, Page,” Strzok wrote on Apr. 12, 2017, and implied that two more negative articles about her “namesake” would come out shortly.
The exchange “should lead a reasonable person to question whether there was a sincere desire to investigate wrongdoing or to place derogatory information in the media to justify a continued probe,” wrote Meadows.
“Carter Page has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Heavily redacted documents have since shown that a dossier written by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign played a key role in obtaining the FISA warrant to surveil him beginning in October 2016,” Fox News reported. “The FBI and DOJ declined to comment on the latest letter.”
Trump responded to the new allegations with the following statement —
New Strzok-Page texts reveal “Media Leak Strategy.” @FoxNews So terrible, and NOTHING is being done at DOJ or FBI – but the world is watching, and they get it completely.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2018