Russia Investigation: Drip by drip, a pool of incriminating evidence grows almost daily showing that FBI and Justice Department officials worked together to thwart President Trump’s presidency just as it got underway. The whole Russia investigation conducted by Robert Mueller must now come under serious question, and it seems likely that key FBI officials will be charged with crimes.
Congress released documents late Monday showing an “apparent systemic culture of media leaking” among top officials at the FBI and Justice Department, according to a letter that North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
In particular, wrote Meadows, two text messages exchanged on April 10 and April 12, 2017, between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and his then-lover, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, explicitly discuss the FBI’s “media leak strategy.”
On April 10, 2017, Strzok texted Page: “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”
Just two days later, Meadows noted, Strzok lauded Page’s efforts and gave her a heads up that “two articles are coming out, one which is ‘worse’ than the other about Lisa’s ‘namesake,’ ” a reference to Carter Page, the target of a monthslong FBI surveillance effort that began in October 2016. Despite the surveillance, Carter Page has never been charged with any crime.
Just one day after Strzok’s text to Page, the Washington Post, on April 11, 2017, ran a piece titled “FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump advisor Carter Page.”
Ignoring The Rulebook
But that wasn’t all. As Fox News reports, “The leaks involved other outlets in addition to the Washington Post. … FBI and DOJ officials, including DOJ prosecutor and top Robert Mueller deputy Andrew Weissman, met with several Associated Press reporters in April 2017, according to court filings in the Virginia federal trial of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.”
Moreover, Meadows wrote, “The leaks to the media continued even as FBI attorneys cited the U.S. Attorney’s Manual in telling Congress that witnesses could not answer questions about pending probes.”
So the FBI was stonewalling Congress’ nascent investigation of the FBI’s actions, while leaking like a sieve to the media. Leaking secret information to anyone, by the way, is a crime.
It’s noteworthy that Strzok was the lead investigator not just for the Russia investigation but for the Hillary Clinton email scandal as well. So Strzok and the others covered all the bases. He was just fired in August for sending anti-Trump messages to Lisa Page, including one that grandiosely said of Trump’s presidency, “We’ll stop it.”
Page, The Patsy
As for poor Carter Page, the Post piece on April 11 claimed that “law enforcement and other U.S. officials” had told them that top Justice and FBI officials convinced a FISA judge that there was “probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia.”
Their evidence? The bogus anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele, who served as a paid informant for the FBI. When the FBI discovered that he had leaked information to the press, they fired him. As it turns out, Steele compiled his dossier while working for the shady opposition research group Fusion GPS. And the Hillary Clinton-controlled Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s own presidential campaign paid for it all.
The FBI, in short, lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about the source of its “probable cause.” They used the phony Steele dossier as the basis for their claims to the FISA court, but told the court they didn’t. Isn’t that perjury? Or don’t U.S. officials have to tell the truth to FISA?
Collusion At FBI, Justice?
As for Carter Page, he was a tool, spied upon for entirely spurious reasons. Mainly, it appears, pro-Hillary, anti-Trump officials in the CIA, Justice Department and FBI wanted a pretense for spying on the Trump campaign — and, later, for undermining his presidency. Surveillance of Carter Page gave the FBI a backdoor into the Trump campaign.
The troubling aspect of all this isn’t just the media leaks, which are troubling enough. It’s why they leaked that is most bothersome.
Given the prevalent and near-total anti-Trump animus that various CIA, FBI and Justice officials exhibited, it seems quite clear that they coordinated their efforts to take down a presidential candidate and, when that failed, to politically damage him once he won the election.
Moreover, it was all collusion on behalf of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and against Donald Trump.
This is the stuff of cheap spy novels, and yet it’s true. This appears to be a conspiracy to undermine the constitutional government of the U.S. — a crime of the highest order. At the very least, Congress should name a special prosecutor. Mueller’s case for Trump-Russia collusion was never strong; the case for FBI-Justice-CIA political interference looks like a slam dunk.