The Justice department has finally produced 49 pages comprising around 300 previously "missing" text messages sent between two anti-Trump FBI employees in charge of investigating him. The messages, sent between FBI special agent Peter Strzok and FBI counsel Lisa Page, who were also having an extramarital affair together, span the period between December 16, 2016 and May 23, 2017.
As the Daily Caller reports, many of the messages are in shorthand and out of context. Congressional investigators will be sifting through them and piecing them together with previously released text messages to see if there is further evidence of political bias from two people acting in roles which required the utmost impartiality.
Interestingly, one of the text messages refers to opening "a case we've been waiting on" and doing it "now while Andy is acting."
New texts between Strzok and Page show their dismay at the firing of Comey & in the immediate aftermath of his firing on May 9, 2017, Strzok texted: "We need to open the case we've been waiting on now while Andy is acting." What case was he referring to? https://t.co/2R7EU92LIv pic.twitter.com/1tHiYKrgSi— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) April 27, 2018
Another text shows Strzok's concern over former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and FBI employee Sally Yates all playing into the "there should be an unmasking request/record" for incidental collection incorrect narrative."
Independent investigator George Webb (Sweigert), who is notably suing Andrew McCabe, Hillary Clinton, Fusion GPS, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner, the Awan family and John Podesta - notes that there are only two texts per day in today's release, vs. 12 texts per day in prior releases - implying that the DOJ is withholding texts.
Metadata on Strzok-Page email doesn’t add up. Twelve texts a day down to two a day during the coup? pic.twitter.com/JUZw0RSIxJ— TruthLeaks (@GeorgWebb) April 27, 2018
Strzok notably spearheaded the Clinton email investigation with Page's help, while the pair also headed up the FBI's original counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump's alleged relationship with Russia surrounding the 2016 US election.
Knowledge of the missing texts was revealed in a January letter from Ron Johnson (R-WI), Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) - after the Committee received an additional 384 pages of text messages between Strzok and Page, several of which contained anti-Trump / pro-Clinton bias. The new DOJ submission included a cover letter from the Assistant AG for Legislative Affairs, Stephen Boyd, claiming that the FBI was unable to preserve text messages between the two agents for a five month period between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017 - due to "misconfiguration issues" with FBI-issued Samsung 5 devices used by Strzok and Page (despite over 10,000 texts which were recovered from their devices without incident).
The original explanation by the DOJ for the missing texts was "misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI's collection capabilities."
A group of House GOP issued a criminal referral to the DOJ, writing a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney John Huber, and FBI Director Christopher Wray - asking them to investigate Strzok and Page, along with former FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton and others, for a laundry list of potential crimes surrounding the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
In regards to Strzok and Page, the referral reads:
- "We raise concerns regarding their interference in the Hillary Clinton investigation regarding her use of a personal email server."
- Referring to a Wall Street Journal article from January 22, 2018 - "The report provides the following alarming specifics, among others: "Mr. Strzok texts Ms. Page to tell her that, in fact, senior officials had decided to water down the reference to President Obama to 'another senior government official." By the time Mr. Comey gave his public statement on July 5, both references - to Mr. Obama and to "another senior government official" had disappeared."
The pair are recommended for criminal charges of obstruction and corruption.