The two FBI officials involved in a scandal over anti-Trump text messages referred to a “secret society” on the day after President Trump’s 2016 election win, two Republican lawmakers who have reviewed the exchanges said on Monday.
Appearing on Fox News, South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy and Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe said that the text message, which was exchanged between former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, is evidence of anti-Trump bias at the top levels of the FBI.
“We learned today about information that after — in the immediate aftermath of [Trump’s] election that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include Page and Strzok that would be working against him,” Ratcliffe told Fox’s Martha MacCallum.
Gowdy, who was interviewed alongside Ratcliffe, provided a few more details about the “secret society” text.
“You have this insurance policy in the spring of 2016 and then the day after the election, the day after what they really, really didn’t want to have happen, there’s a text exchange between these two FBI agents, these two supposed to be objective fact-centric FBI agents saying perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society,” he said.
The “insurance policy” reference is to an Aug. 15, 2016 text message that Strzok sent to Page in which he said that he was “afraid that we can’t take that risk” — the risk being Trump’s election win.
“It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok wrote.
The lawmakers did not provide additional context to the text message. The Daily Caller’s attempts to obtain a copy were unsuccessful.
The text message was included in 384 pages of communications that the Justice Department provided to six congressional committees on Friday. The agency has already released some texts exchanged between Strzok and Page that show a strong anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton bias. (RELATED: FBI ‘Failed To Preserve’ Five Months Of Anti-Trump Agents’ Texts)
The messages have drawn intense scrutiny from Republicans because of the two officials’ direct involvement in both the Russia investigation and the Clinton email probe.
Strzok oversaw the Russia investigation when it was opened in July 2016. Prior to that, he helped lead the Clinton investigation. He interviewed Clinton herself on July 2, 2016, three days before then-FBI Director cleared her of criminal wrongdoing.
Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation last July after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered the politically-biased text exchanges with Page.
The inspector general also discovered that the FBI “failed to preserve” five months worth of Strzok-Page texts for a crucial period in the Russia investigation — from Dec. 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017.
Gowdy, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said that he plans to investigate the text messages further.
“I’m going to want to know what secret society are you talking about because you are supposed to be investigating objectively the person who just won the electoral college. I‘m going to want to know,” he said on Fox.
In a tweet on Monday, Ratcliffe said that his review of the Strzok-Page texts “revealed manifest bias among top FBI officials” against Trump.
CONGRESSMEN GOWDY AND RATCLIFFE WITH NEW DETAILS ON BIASED FBI TEXTS