Senate Committee Releases Massive Trove Of Peter Strzok’s Text Messages
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday released nearly 400 pages of text messages exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and bureau attorney Lisa Page.
Republican Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of the committee, also released an interim report on the panel’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Also included in a batch of newly released documents are email exchanges between top FBI officials drafting the statement that former FBI Director James Comey gave when he exonerated Clinton in the probe.
The text messages, 384 pages in all, span from Aug. 16, 2015, through July 23, 2017. The document dump does not include five months of messages that Strzok and Page exchanged between Dec. 13, 2016, and May 17, 2017, a crucial time period in the Russia investigation. The Justice Department has said that the FBI failed to preserve those messages because of a technical glitch which hit thousands of FBI employees’ phones.
Strzok and Page were both heavily involved in the email investigation as well as the Russia collusion investigation. They also worked for a short period on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. But Page left after a short stint on that investigation, and Strzok was removed after the Justice Department inspector general discovered their politically-charged text messages.
The Justice Department turned the messages over last month to six congressional committees, including Johnson’s.
Many of the messages show that Strzok and Page, who were having an affair, harbored deep anti-Trump bias. In some exchanges, Strzok referred to Trump as an “idiot.” In others, both Strzok and Page wrote “F Trump.”
As an investigator in the counterintelligence division, Strzok helped lead that investigation, conducting the interviews with Clinton and several of her aides.
After that investigation ended in July 2016, Strzok was tapped to lead the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign.
Some of Strzok and Page’s texts have drawn concern over what looks like more than general anti-Trump sentiment.
In one Aug. 15, 2016, exchange, Strzok wrote of a meeting that had occurred earlier that day in then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s office. He said that the bureau needed an “insurance policy” in the event of a Trump election win.
In a message on Election Day that was released on Wednesday, Page wrote: “OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING.”
“Omg, I am so depressed,” Strzok replied.
On Nov. 13, 2016, Page told Strzok: “I bought all the president’s men. Figure I need to brush up on Watergate.” (RELATED: Source: Strzok Hadn’t Seen Evidence Of Collusion 10 Months Into Russia Probe)
Strzok and Page’s also provide some insights into their handling of the Clinton and Trump investigations.
In a May 19, 2017, text message, Strzok appeared to express hesitation about joining Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation team because he had a “gut sense” that “there’s no big there there.”
“You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern that there’s no big there there,” Strzok wrote.
A source close to the FBI agent confirmed to The Daily Caller last month that Strzok indeed believed that he had not seen any strong evidence of collusion up to that point in the investigation.
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