The text messages between FBI Agent Peter Strozk and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, have been released to both Fox News and CBS. SEE HERE and SEE HERE.
The messages reflect a strong bias against President Trump. However, the bigger story is not the anti-Trump bias within the text communication, the BIGGER story is why the Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General (OIG), began even looking at Agent Peter Strozk’s communication in the first place.
Remember, the original mandate by the Inspector General’s office was initiated to review and discover any politicization of the FBI and/or DOJ officials.
After news broke of Strzok’s removal from investigative duty within the FBI counterintelligence unit, what the OIG responding statement said was for 11 months the Dept of Justice OIG office has been investigating the politicization within the DOJ and FBI and deciding if the actions, or lack of action, was driven by the political ideology of the participants therein:
In essence the IG began looking for any investigative issues that might show how political bias might have resulted in manipulated or changed investigative outcomes. Potentially those outlined issues are brutally unethical, and most likely unlawful. [Read the initiating IG office outline above because I’m going to reference it later] Emphasis:
“The January 2017 statement issued by the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announcing its review of allegations regarding various actions of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in advance of the 2016 election stated that the OIG review would, among other things, consider whether certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations and that we also would include issues that might arise during the course of the review.
The OIG has been reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them.”
It was within this IG investigation that SOMETHING pointed the investigative agents in the direction of FBI Agent Peter Strzok. What that something was and is remains an unknown variable; however, the outcome of the subsequent inquiry led to Agent Strzok being removed mid-summer from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
There was some precipitating event that led the IG to investigate the communication of FBI Agent Strzok. That precipitating event or behavior is where the real story lies, and not in the downstream collection –and current release– of biased text messages between Strzok and his mistress FBI Attorney Lisa Page who worked for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
Against the backdrop of current activity, and knowing there is a newly established special joint task force within the DOJ and FBI to identify leaks, we can reasonably speculate Agent Strzok was caught while the IG was investigating politicization, and the DOJ/FBI leak task force was hunting intelligence “leakers“.
As Judicial Committee Representative Jim Jordan rightly outlined, Agent Strzok would not likely be removed because he had biased text messages with his mistress. So long as that bias did not interfere with his work duty, there is no issue; and Strzok was not in a position of supervision over Lisa Page so they could encounter like rabbits to their black-hats desire. However, if FBI Agent Strzok was a “leaker” to the media, or worse, well, that’s an entirely different kettle-o-fish.
Getting caught as a leaker is likely the reason Strzok was removed and reassigned to the HR post; not the bias. The bias, writ large, is essentially a snipe hunt; it makes good media clicks, it feeds a good headline, but ultimately it’s a nothingburger. The reports on this angle are flak and countermeasures.
However, Agent Strzok leaking information to the media; his changing the outcome of an FBI investigation into a political ally, Hillary Clinton; and his investigative involvement in the Trump Russia Conspiracy, via the Steele Dossier and FISA warrant, well, that’s the real issue evident here.
AUGUST 2017 – […] A former FBI agent who worked with Strzok on and off over several years in the bureau’s counterintelligence division said that Strzok’s move to HR means he has now been separated from counterintelligence work altogether.
[…] Strzok’s departure also came one week after The Washington Post reported that Mueller had obtained a search warrant to raid the home of President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The Post report cited “people familiar with the search,” prompting questions about whether anyone on Mueller’s team had leaked the existence of the search warrant to the Post. (link)
Which leads us to the next headline story that dovetails into this ideological weaponization by FBI/DOJ/DC officials leaking to the media.
Donald Trump Jr. has now written a letter of complaint to the House Rep. K. Michael Conaway, a Texas Republican who is heading the House Intelligence inquiry into Russian election interference. Don Jr’s outline specifically focuses on the erroneous leak to CNN about the content of a received email; and requests an investigation into how the leak took place:
The Washington Times reports:
[…] Republicans suspect that the staff of Rep. Adam Schiff, California Democrat, leaked the erroneous “scoop” to CNN. They say his staff regularly leaks, with CNN being a favorite, with a spin that is not accurate.
Mr. Schiff, who is a big fan of the discredited Trump dossier, appeared on TV afterward. Mr. Futerfas said he misrepresented his client’s testimony.
[…] Mr. Futerfas’s implication is that the leakers let the story catch fire on social media and other venues before correcting it.
“Ranking Member Schiff and his staff do not leak classified or confidential information, and any disclosure of non-public information by the congressional committees undertaking investigations is singularly unhelpful,” Mr. Schiff said in a statement. “It is imperative that all investigations into Russia’s covert political interference campaign operate with appropriate discretion and refrain from publicizing information for short-sighted political gain.” (read more)
Having some idea of how these DC investigative practices work, it is highly doubtful that Don Jr’s attorney self-initiated that complaint on his client’s behest. There is a strong possibility the investigative unit, the new leak task-force, and/or the IG office, needs that initiating complaint in order to continue targeting the potential subjects of the leaks.
Given the recent activity surrounding the House Intelligence Committee, there is a better than good likelihood Minority Chairman Adam Schiff is one of the targets; and if the pattern exhibited within the Strzok investigation is followed, Schiff’s communications might also be monitored within the net as it is cast.
FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s former boss was Bill Priestap, FBI Asst. Director in charge of Counterintelligence. [The same Bill Priestap James Comey stated was the person who decided not to tell congressional oversight of the investigation] Bill Priestap’s boss was FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe was also Lisa Page’s boss. Directly above McCabe in the chain-of-command was FBI Director James Comey.
Notice how things are seeming to gain speed within the daily/weekly discovery cycles?