Reporting by Catherine Herridge
On the same day the Justice Department confirmed the Attorney General’s Special Counsel Interview, new text messages suggest senior FBI investigators were skeptical about the Russia probe from the outset.
Two days after Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over the Russia probe in May, newly released text messages between demoted FBI agent Peter Strzok and re-assigned lawyer Lisa Page, suggest they discussed the merits of joining Mueller’s team.
Strzok writes, “You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there.”
On Fox, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said the texts are more evidence of political bias.
“I care a lot about the Department of Justice and the FBI and it breaks my heart that we are having to have this conversation about two agents that only wanted to get the president. They didn’t have any interest in clearing him.”
Another GOP lawmaker, Congressman John Ratcliffe (R-TX), who read the texts said the FBI officials talk about a quote “secret society” within days of President Trump’s victory.
“There was a society of at least two people to include Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that had a desire to keep Donald Trump from becoming president and then an expressed intent to work against him after he was elected president.”
In a cryptic text, Strzok writes, “I personally have a sense of unfinished business…unleashed it with MYE (or mid-year exam, the FBI’s code name for the Clinton email case). Now I need to fix it and finish it.”
The FBI blames a technical problem for a five month gap in the Strozk/Page texts, and would not comment on whether the bureau has taken physical custody of their phones to recover the messages.
Writing in a tweet, President Trump called the missing texts one of the biggest stories in a long time. The senate’s senior Democrat, Chuck Schumer, called out Republicans for undermining Mueller.
“He shouldn’t be thwarted in any way and the diversion that they are trying to do, both with Muller and with others, is not good for the country.”
In a separate development, President Trump said the White House had no advance notice of Attorney General Jeff Sessions Special Counsel interview last week.
The President also denied media reports that FBI Director Christopher Wray threatened to quit after pressure to remove his deputy, Andrew McCabe, a long time lieutenant of fired FBI Director James Comey.