by WorldTribune Staff, September 13, 2018
Peter Strzok, who was heading up the FBI’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, was in contact with reporters from The New York Times and The Washington Post, newly obtained texts between Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page show.
The texts, which were obtained by SaraACarter.com, appear to contradict statements made by Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, after it was revealed earlier this week that Strzok and Page discussed a “media leak strategy” in some of their text messages. Goelman insisted, “the term ‘media leak strategy’ in Mr. Strzok’s text refers to a Department-wide initiative to detect and stop leaks to the media.”
The text messages suggest Strzok and Page had been in contact with reporters from both newspapers, with Strzok specifically mentioning Michael Schmidt of the Times.
In an April 14, 2017 text to Page, Strzok wrote, “Also, apparently Times is angry with us about the WP (Washington Post) scoop and earlier discussion we had about the Schmidt piece that had so many inaccuracies. Too much to detail here, but I told Mike (redacted) and Andy they need to understand we were absolutely dealing in good faith with them. The FISA one, coupled with the Guardian piece from yesterday.”
According to several U.S. officials who spoke to SaraACarter.com, the “Mike” mentioned in Strzok’s text message is Mike Kortan, the former FBI assistant director for public affairs who retired in February. “Andy” was in reference to former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe was fired earlier this year after it was revealed in DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report that said he lied to investigators and leaked information to the media.
Earlier this week, Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, released a text-message exchange between Strzok and Page which the congressman said showed a deliberate strategy in 2017 to leak anti-Trump stories.
Meadows cited an April 11 Washington Post story that disclosed a secret wiretap on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
After the April 11 article, Strzok texted Page to say “well done” and added there would be more news stories about her “namesake.”
In another newly obtained text, SaraACarter.com reports that Strzok and Page discussed several months before 2016 election writing an op-ed together.
On Sept. 2, 2016, Page texts Strzok: “Got it. But we are still writing the op-ed, yes?”
Strzok replies, “Yes, ish. He said too much data would be good to identify the key pieces of data and frame it in an argument, but not to spend ‘too much time on the opening or closing.’ I told him we were too much of perfectionists to not do all of it.”
On September 5, 2016, Page sends Strzok a link to the Washington Post article titled, U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections.
Strzok replies, “This is the one (redacted) was talking about I think.”
Page then says, “Yup. It is very well sourced. 100% authorized.”
Strzok then tells Page, “Just read the article. We say a lot of the same things. I guess that’s O.K.”
Page writes back “Yeah, but that’s why ours is going to need to be more folksy. So it’s not like a news article.”
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz had earlier confirmed that “We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters.”