Amid outrage at revelations that the FBI is unable to locate more than 50,000 text messages from a critical period between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017, Wisconsin’s Republican Sen. Ron Johnson dropped a bombshell this week that cast further doubt on the FBI’s handling of the probe into President Donald Trump’s campaign.
In an interview with Milwaukee radio host Jay Weber, Johnson read aloud a text he called “jaw-dropping” from Peter Strzok to his reported mistress Lisa Page. The May 19, 2017 text read, “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,” The Daily Caller reports.
Sen. Johnson explained the text refers to whether former FBI counterespionage superstar Strzok should join Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe that started on May 17, two days prior to Strzok’s text. Likely, Strzok was in a position to know whether there was any “there there” with regard to Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
In July 2016, as his role in the Clinton private server investigation wound down, Strzok moved directly into overseeing the FBI’s investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia. Reportedly, Strzok may even be implicated in the FBI’s acquisition of the “Trump Dossier” which sparked the FBI’s initial probe into the Trump campaign, Fox News reports.
Strzok ultimately joined Mueller’s investigation, as did his reported lover Lisa Page, herself an FBI lawyer working directly for embattled FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
By July 2017, Strzok was quietly removed from Mueller’s team and unceremoniously demoted to the FBI’s Human Resources department after Strzok’s texts were discovered during Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz’s ongoing investigation into the bureau’s handling of Clinton’s email investigation.
Page left Mueller’s investigative team about two weeks before Strzok’s banishment to Human Resources.
Thousands of the controversial text messages between Strzok and Page were leaked to the press in mid-December, but on Sunday the FBI told Congress at least five critical months of the pair’s text messages were lost due to “problems with the bureau-issued mobile phones over ‘rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades,’” The Hill reports.
In another interview with Fox News’s Bret Baier, Johnson revealed that officials of the FBI allegely organized off-site meetings of a “secret society” mentioned in a text from Strzok.
“And that secret society,” Johnson continued, “we have an informant that’s talking about a group that was holding secret meetings off-site. There’s so much smoke here, there’s so much suspicion…”
“Let’s stop there,” Baier chimed in, “a secret society, that, secret meetings off-site of the Justice Department?”
“Correct,” Johnson said
“And you have an informant saying that?” Baier asked, appearing almost shocked.
“Yes,” he answered.
On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions assured the public, “I have spoken to the Inspector General and a review is already underway to ascertain what occurred and to determine if these records can be recovered in any other way. If any wrongdoing were to be found to have caused this gap, appropriate legal disciplinary action measures will be taken.”
“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source.”
Early Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump weighed in on Twitter expressing his indignation at the missing text messages tweeting, “in one of the biggest stories in a long time, the FBI now says it is missing five months worth of lovers Strzok-Page texts, perhaps 50,000, and all in prime time. Wow!”
In one of the biggest stories in a long time, the FBI now says it is missing five months worth of lovers Strzok-Page texts, perhaps 50,000, and all in prime time. Wow!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2018
- For more on the story, see The Daily Caller
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