Newly released text messages between controversial anti-Trump FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page reveal several leaks of confidential information to Wall St. Journal reporter, Devlin Barrett, who is now with the Washington Post.
Following the release of the timestamped texts by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Conservative Treehouse compared the timing of the messages between the agents and tied them to several instances of Barrett breaking news or confirming rumors based on "sources" within the government.
Via the Conservative Treehouse:
On October 28th, 2016 (as above), at the exact time the re-opening of the Clinton investigation hit the media news-cycle, Page and Strzok were texting. From the released messaging we see at 5:19pm Lisa Page is on the phone with “Devlin”:
Page: 5:19pm “Still on the phone with Devlin. Mike’s phone is ON FIRE.”
Strzok: 5:29pm “You might wanna tell Devlin he should turn on CNN, there’s news on.”
Page: 5:30pm “He knows. He just got handed a note.”
Strzok: 5:33pm “Ha. He asking about it now?”
Page: 5:34pm “Yeah. It was pretty funny. Coming now.”
At 5:36pm Devlin Barrett tweets:
Sources, as in Lisa Page - who Barrett was just (or still) on the phone with.
Looking back upon the released text messages, and comparing them to reporting by Devlin Barrett, another specific article jumps out.
On October 23rd, 2016, Devlin Barrett reported on a scoop:
“Scoop: McAuliffe PAC gave $467,500 to campaign of wife of senior FBI official who oversaw Clinton email probe” (link)
This October 23rd, 2016, “scoop” aligns with the internal text messaging discussion between Agent Peter Strzok and FBI Attorney Lisa Page who were discussing James Comey’s chief-of-staff James Rybicki recommending that FBI Asst. Director Andrew “Andy” McCabe should be recused from the Hillary Clinton investigation.
From the messaging the recusal was discussed mid-through-late October 2016:
00:52am …”if it’s a matter similar to those we’ve been talking about lately”…
The Conservative Treehouse then notes that Barrett left the Wall Street Journal and joined the Washington Post, where he wrote a cover story to explain away a bizarre text between Strzok and Page referencing then-candidate Hillary Clinton:
"So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about Hillary because it can't be traced" "You were just venting, [because] you feel bad that you’re gone so much but that can’t be helped right now."
In his WaPo piece, Barrett posits that the text was in reference to the extramarital affair the FBI agents were having with each other:
The WaPo article starts off:
Two senior FBI officials who texted each other about President Trump and Hillary Clinton relied on work phones to try to hide their romance from a spouse and made the bureau’s probe of Clinton’s private email server their cover story for being in such close contact, according to people familiar with the matter. -WaPo
We now have what appears to be evidence of an FBI official leaking information to a WSJ / WaPo reporter, who subsequently tweeted and wrote articles defending Page and Strzok, while throwing FBI deputy director Andy McCabe under the bus.
Then again, as the Conservative Treehouse notes, former FBI Director James Comey was doing the same thing.