It has always been a curious question about who released the controversial text messages between FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI Supervisory Agent Peter Strzok. In a DOJ court brief (full pdf below) in support of a motion to dismiss the lawsuit of Peter Strzok, former Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein explains how and why he authorized the release:
It would have been a little more interesting if Rosenstein could have narrowed down the timing of OIG notification from “in the summer of 2017”, as it would outline specifically when Rosenstein became aware of the controversial issue. Before or after he joined the crew in authorizing -and signing- a false FISA application?….
Obviously, at least in my opinion, the lack of specificity here is evidence of Rosenstein’s CYA motive. If Rosenstein was aware of the texts from inside the key participants of the Crossfire Hurricane team, prior to authorizing the third FISA renewal… he was either a complete doofus, or complicit and willfully blind. I digress.
Rosenstein saying he decided to release the text messages because they would inevitably become public after his testimony before the House Judiciary Committee during the Mueller investigation. Also saying he wanted to ensure they were not “cherry-picked” for public release by members of Chairman Bob Goodlatte’s committee.
“With the express understanding that it would not violate the Privacy Act and that the text messages would become public by the next day in any event, I authorized [Justice’s Office of Public Affairs] to disclose to the news media the text messages that were being disclosed to Congressional committees.”
Sketchy Rod Rosenstein’s five-page statement can found below in the attachment to the DOJ motion:
The original news reports from journalists gaining knowledge of the Strzok/Page text messages on December 2nd, 2017, always seemed tied to the ridiculous and coerced guilty plea by Michael Flynn signed two days earlier, November 30th, 2017.
Obviously those within the DOJ/FBI or IC were able to keep the texts hidden from “the summer” through the end of November…. Then Flynn was forced into the plea… and then suddenly a series of leaks from inside the FBI system started on December 1st, 2017. That chain of events led to congress asking questions and demanding to see them. As a result of those congressional inquires, Rosenstein authorized their release December 12th, 2017.