by WorldTribune Staff, January 23, 2018
Republican lawmakers are demanding explanations from the FBI after newly-released text messages between a pair of anti-Trump FBI agents referenced a “secret society” being formed to derail then President-elect Donald Trump.
Also troubling are missing text messages from 5 critical months.
“The day after the election … there is a text exchange between these two FBI agents, these supposed to be fact-centric FBI agents saying, ‘Perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society,’ ” Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said on Fox News’s “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
“So I’m going to want to know what secret society you are talking about, because you’re supposed to be investigating objectively the person who just won the Electoral College,” Gowdy said.
The texts were exchanged between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, both of whom worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating alleged Trump campaign ties to Russia. Mueller removed Strzok and Page from his team after news of their anti-Trump text messages surfaced. Reports said Strzok was also having an affair with Page.
The latest in the text-gate scandal emerged after the FBI said it had lost five months of text messages between Strzok and Page.
In response to the revelations of the five months of missing texts, Republican Reps. Devin Nunes of California, Gowdy of South Carolina, and Bob Goodlatte of Virginia, released the following statement:
“This weekend we met to discuss the text messages and possible next steps in our oversight of these agencies. The contents of these text messages between top FIB officials are extremely troubling in terms of when certain key decisions were made by the Department of Justice and the FBI, by whom these decisions were made, and the evident bias exhibited by those in charge of the investigation. The omission of text messages between December 2016 and May 2017, a critical gap encompassing the FBI’s Russia investigation, is equally concerning. Rather than clearing up prior FBI and DOJ actions, these recently produced documents cause us to further question the credibility and objectivity of certain officials at the FBI.”
It “is harder and harder for us to explain one strange coincidence after another,” said Rep. John Ratcliffe, Texas Republican and a House Judiciary Committee member.
Appearing alongside Gowdy on Fox, Ratcliffe said: “We learned today about information that in the immediate aftermath of his election, there may have been a ‘secret society’ of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI, to include Page and Strzok, working against him (Trump). I’m not saying that actually happened, but when folks speak in those terms, they need to come forward to explain the context.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Jan. 22 announced the Justice Department will investigate the missing text messages.
“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source,” Sessions said in a statement.