Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Page, Strzok Implicated in Mueller Leaks

What a cute couple!
FBI agents' text messages spur congressional probe into possible news leaks
In one exchange, FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page engaged in a series of texts shortly before Election Day 2016 suggesting they knew in advance about an article in The Wall Street Journal and would need to feign stumbling onto the story so it could be shared with colleagues.

“Article is out, but hidden behind paywall so can’t read it,” Page texted Strzok on Oct. 24, 2016.

“Wsj? Boy that was fast,” Strzok texted back, using the initials of the famed financial newspaper. “Should I ‘find’ it and tell the team?”
I love the scare quotes. Who uses scare quotes in a text?
The text messages, which were reviewed by The Hill, show the two FBI agents discussed how they might make it appear they innocently discovered the article, such as through Google News alerts.

“I can get it like I do every other article that hits any Google News alerts, seriously,” Strzok wrote, adding he didn’t want his team hearing about the article “from someone else.”
It sure sounds like they knew about that article in advance, because they provided information to the reporters, and were expecting it to come out. But, was Mueller in on it? Leaks to friendly reporters is a Mueller modus operandi of long standing.

Strzok played a key role in the early Russia election meddling probe before he was removed last summer by special counsel Robert Mueller for exchanging text messages critical of President Trump, then still a candidate, with Page.

The Justice Department has told Congress that Strzok had engaged in an affair with Page, who served as a lawyer advising FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

The Hill reviewed nearly three dozen texts in which the two agents discussed articles, tried to track down information about a specific New York Times reporter or opined about leaked information in stories that they fretted were “super specific.”

Republican investigators in both the House and Senate say the text messages suggest FBI personnel may have had media contacts but don’t necessarily prove it. So they want to learn more about what the two agents were talking about and whether any FBI officials involved in the Russia probe engaged in leaking, sources told The Hill.
. . .
FBI contacts with the media wouldn’t necessarily be improper unless they resulted in the release of confidential law enforcement information or classified information, such as the leak last February of an intercept of then-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

The Justice Department says it currently has 27 ongoing criminal leak investigations, triple the amount of the prior three years combined.
I think a Special Prosecutor needs to be appointed to investigate the Special Counsel's investigation. One which will use the same tactics the Mueller team has employed, eg. predawn raids with guns drawn, indictment threats, perjury traps, and plenty of damaging leaks. Guilty parties to be disbarred, and forbidden from further federal work, after they serve maximum jail terms.

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