New Strzok-Page Texts Reveal FBI Leak Strategy to Damage Trump after Election
Newly released documents obtained by Congress reveal an “apparent systemic culture of media leaking” among high-level FBI and Justice Department officials, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) charged in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Monday.
In the letter, Meadows said a review of the new documents raised "grave concerns" that the officials were leaking unverified material related to ongoing investigations to the press in an effort to damage President Trump early in his presidency.
Two text messages, in particular, exchanged in April 2017 between now-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page, raised alarm bells, according to Meadows, who serves on the House Oversight Committee.
"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 texted Page on April 10, 2017.
Two days later, Strzok wrote back to his paramour, "Well done, Page," and told her that two negative articles — one worse than the other — would soon drop about Page's "namesake," an apparent reference to Carter Page, Trump's former campaign adviser. The FBI surveilled Carter Page for months after obtaining a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court in October of 2016.
The text message exchanges "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," said Meadows, who is also chairman of the Freedom Caucus.
One of the negative stories mentioned in the texts appeared in the Washington Post on April 11, 2017: "FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page," by Ellen Nakashima, Devlin Barrett, and Adam Entous.
Citing "law enforcement and other U.S. officials," the authors wrote that the DOJ and 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." It has since been revealed that the FISA warrant relied heavily on the unverified dossier written by ex-British spy Christopher Steele and funded by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton campaign. Even though his name was dragged through the mud for a year, Carter Page was never charged with a crime.
In his letter, Meadows pointed out that the Post's reporting triggered "a flurry of articles suggesting connections between President Trump and Russia."