As reported by Fox News, text messages between FBI lovers Peter Strzok, a former top counterterrorism agent, and lawyer Lisa Page “suggest a possible coordination between high-ranking officials at the Obama White House, CIA, FBI, Justice Department and former Senate Democratic leadership in the early stages of the investigation.”
Congressional investigators who spoke to the network say the evidence “strongly” implies that an unprecedented level of coordination and collusion between former President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, fired FBI Director James Comey, serial Trump administration critic and former CIA Director John Brennan, and now-retired Democratic Senate Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.
Here are the most important findings:
— On Aug. 2, 2016, Page texted Strzok this message — “Make sure you can lawfully protect what you sign. Just thinking about congress, foia, etc. You probably know better than me.” The acronym “foia” refers to Freedom of Information Act requests.
— On Aug. 3, a message from Strzok to Page noted that fired FBI Dep. Director Andrew McCabe was concerned about “information control” regarding the bureau’s initial probe of the Trump campaign. A report from The New York Times said Brennan had been sent to Capitol Hill around the same time to brief members of Congress about possible Russian election interference.
— On Aug. 8, Strzok texted page: “Internal joint cyber cd intel piece for D, scenesetter for McDonough brief, Trainor [head of FBI cyber division] directed all cyber info be pulled. I’d let Bill and Jim hammer it out first, though it would be best for D to have it before the Wed WH session.”
“D” refers to ‘Director’ Comey, while the “McDonough” reference is plain, GOP investigators told Fox News.
"We are not making conclusions. What we are saying is that the timeline is concerning enough to warrant the appointment of an independent investigator to look at whether or not the Obama White House was involved [in the Trump-Russia investigation],” a Republican source told the network.
The investigators said that the FBI and CIA are supposed to be “independent agencies” in our system, adding that “coordination between political actors at the White House and investigators would be inappropriate,” and thus raises new questions about the level of involvement by Obama and his minions.
— On Aug. 25, Brennan went to brief Reid on Capitol Hill; it was not clear if FBI officials attended the same briefing, a source told the network. But two days later, Reid wrote a letter to Comey seeking an investigation of potential collusion between Team Trump 2016 and Moscow.
— On Aug. 29, The New York Times first reported details about Reid’s letter to Comey.
— On Aug. 30, Strzok sent a message to Page that said, “Here we go,” which included a link to the NYT story headlined, “Harry Reid Cites Evidence of Russian Tampering in U.S. Vote and seeks FBI inquiry.”
Strzok added: “D [Director Comey] said at am brief that Reid called him and told him he would be sending a letter.” (Related: Firing James Comey is a great first step… now it’s time to INDICT him on corruption charges.)
Congressional investigators said they believe the letter was “cover” for the FBI and Justice Department, which had already launched a probe into Trump-Russia ties in mid-July, which they said was begun under “questionable ethical and legal grounds.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said some members of Congress were "shocked" when they learned of these details.
“I was talking to a few members of Congress today. And these are people who don’t follow this closely. They’re not on the House Intelligence Committee but they follow it just by the news and they were shocked,” he said adding: “As a matter of fact they used a few expletives.”
One congressional investigator added: “At some point, the amount of concerning information becomes enough for a special counsel to look into it.”
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J.D. Heyes is also editor-in-chief of The National Sentinel.