In an investigation that has more twists and turns than an episode of “House of Cards” (when it was still good), newly revealed text messages between ertswhile lovers and FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page seem to suggest that there may have been coordination between very high-ranking Democratic officials — even the Obama White House — and the CIA, FBI and Department of Justice very early on in the investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. So early, in fact, the new evidence lends credence to the suspicion that there was a covert, behind-the-scenes effort to promote the collusion narrative before the investigation had actually begun.
The investigators say the information provided to Fox News “strongly” suggests coordination between former President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, and CIA Director John Brennan — which they say would “contradict” the Obama administration’s public stance about its hand in the process.
Page texted Strzok on Aug. 2, 2016, saying: “Make sure you can lawfully protect what you sign. Just thinking about congress, foia, etc. You probably know better than me.”
A text message from Strzok to Page on Aug. 3 described former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe as being concerned with “information control” related to the initial investigation into the Trump campaign. According to a report from the New York Times, Brennan was sent to Capitol Hill around the same time to brief members of Congress on the possibility of election interference.
Former Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid only penned a letter requesting an investigation into Trump ties to Russia weeks later. He sent it to Former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by President Donald Trump, and who is also referred to in the new texts as “D”, suggesting he also may have been aware of efforts by his underling McCabe to maintain “information control.”
Congressional investigators told Fox News, who obtained the new text exchanges Wednesday, that the intelligence agencies are meant to be “independent agencies,” or presumably apolitical.
“[C]oordination between political actors at the White House and investigators would be inappropriate,” congressional sources told Fox News, indicating their tendency to believe the Obama White House might have been aware of those agencies’ involvement in the investigation of supposed ties between Trump’s staff and Russian entities.
The following day, Aug. 30, 2016, Strzok texted Page: “Here we go,” sending a link to the Times report titled, “Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in U.S. Vote and seeks FBI inquiry.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions declined Thursday to assign a second special counsel to investigate potential abuses at the FBI and DOJ, particularly as they relate to the FISA warrants obtained to spy on Trump associate Carter Page as part of the Russia investigation, but has instead asked Utah’s top federal prosecutor, John Huber, to look into the allegations.
“While we continue to believe that the appointment of a second special counsel is necessary, this is a step in the right direction,” House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy of South Carolina said Thursday. “We applaud the attorney general for demonstrating his commitment to this investigation by selecting an individual outside of Washington, DC to lead the review.”
Sessions’ decision does not preclude a special counsel being assigned at a future date.