‘Peter Strzok and Lisa Page referring to something as political? I mean, that’s like the pot calling the kettle black…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) As Democrats eat chicken on the House floor, some of the most powerful Republicans in the Senate are inching closer to holding partisan bureaucrats publicly accountable for spreading false innuendo about President Donald Trump colluding with Russia.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R.-Wisc., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Monday wrote a letter to Michael K. Atkinson, inspector general of the intelligence community, highlighting two shocking exchanges that they hoped were being investigated between former FBI counterintelligence chief Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI attorney Lisa Page.
“There are going to be so many people looking into these things now,” Johnson told Fox News in a follow-up interview. “We have inspector generals, we have Attorney General Barr, we have at least two Senate committees that are going to be looking at this.”
Specifically, the two committee chairs—Johnson oversees Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs, while Grassley currently heads the Senate Finance Committee—sought clarity on messages between the lovebirds Strzok and Page that suggested some of the FBI’s “sister” investigative agencies may have been leaking false information to the media.
In one of the messages from December 2016, Strzok told Page, “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried and political, they’re kicking in to overdrive.”
In another message, from April 2017, Strzok wrote, “I’m beginning to think the agency got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn’t shared it completely with us. Might explain all these weird/seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as source of some of the leaks.”
While previous congressional probes into the FBI scandal—followed by an inspector general’s investigation and report—revealed substantial misconduct and suggested rabidly partisan bias may have informed the investigation, Johnson said the two messages hinted at an even broader conspiracy.
“This raises all kinds of questions, all kinds of concerns,” Johnson said, “and we’re just writing the inspector general of the intelligence community to see if … has he undertaken an investigation into leaks from those agencies?”
A previous Freedom of Information lawsuit from Judicial Watch sought to discover the records between former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper with CNN during the election and the rollout of the salacious and unverified Steele Dossier, which claimed Trump had colluded with or been compromised by Russia.
The two high-ranking intelligence officials during the Obama administration both later were hired by CNN as special correspondents.
It has been documented and reported that immediately following the election, key Clinton aides John Podesta and Robbie Mook took an active role in crafting the Russia collusion narrative, both to explain Clinton’s election loss and to divert public attention away from any possible investigations into her alleged campaign corruption.
“In early December , if you take a look at the news stories, that’s really the first news stories talking about a Russian potential working with the Trump campaign or involvement with the Trump organization,” Johnson said.
This made the timing of Strzok’s remark about the “sisters” all the more curious, he added.
“It’s really puzzling—in those first text messages, what would those sister agencies be worried about? And to refer to these agencies as political—Peter Strzok and Lisa Page referring to something as political? I mean, that’s like the pot calling the kettle black,” Johnson said. “But what are they kicking into overdrive?”
The second e-mail, with its references to fake stories being planted in the media, was no less disconcerting, Johnson said.
“Now we know that there was no substance at all to those stories—but you have agencies, potentially of the United States government—leaking stories that fully indicate that [Russian collusion] might be the case and really creating this incredible narrative,” Johnson said.
“That has taken about eighteen months to get to the bottom of—the fact that there was no story there, there was no collusion,” he said. “And yet, agencies of the federal government were leaking stories.”
At the time of the April message about the media leaks, there already was open discussion about whether Trump was under investigation related to any of the allegations of Russian collusion.
A month later, the president fired disgraced FBI Director James Comey for his refusal to give a straight answer over whether Trump was being investigated.
Comey later acknowledged leaking potentially classified memos about his privileged conversations with Trump to the media in order, to help spur a special counsel’s investigation, he said.
Johnson said he didn’t necessarily expect for criminal charges to emerge from the forthcoming inquiries but that providing a full set of facts about the debunked Russia narrative was no less important.
“The public has a right to know, and people do need to realize it’s congressional investigations — their whole purpose is to make this information public,” he said.
Even though the inspector general’s previous report on the FBI did not lead to serious consequences for the bad actors involved, making sure the story is part of the public record, especially now that the Russia claims have been disproved, had taken on a new urgency.
“I’m always concerned if it’s another criminal investigation, if no crimes are revealed, we may never hear about it,” Johnson said, “but this is just potentially wrongdoing on the parts of these agencies.”