The anti-Trump text messages between Peter Strzok — the recently demoted FBI agent on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team — and his alleged mistress Lisa Page are worse than anyone imagined. But one of those texts stands out among the others.
The Justice Department provided the House and Senate Judiciary Committees with the text messages late Tuesday night. Republicans on the Judiciary Committee then questioned Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about them during the committee’s oversight hearing on Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s influence in the 2016 U.S. election.
Out of all the damning, politically charged anti-Trump text messages released, one text from Strzok to Page on August 15, 2016 raised the most suspicion. It referred to a conversation and a meeting that had just taken place in “Andy’s” (widely believed to be Deputy FBI Dir. Andrew McCabe’s) office. According to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Strzok had texted this: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration today in Andy’s office [break] there’s no way he gets elected. I want to believe that. But I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. We have to do something about it.”
In another text, Page said: “maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.” Strzok replied: “I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps.”
“This goes to intent,” Jordan said. “We can’t take the risk that the people of this great country might elect Donald Trump. We can’t take this risk. This is Peter Strzok, head of counterintelligence at the FBI. This is Peter Strzok, who I think had a hand in that dossier that was all dressed up and taken to the FISA court. He’s saying, ‘we can’t take the risk, we have to do something about it.'”
Jordan contended that the timeline was an important factor here.
“Peter Strzok, January 10 — he’s the guy who changes the exoneration letter from ‘gross negligence’ (criminal standard) to ‘extreme carelessness,'” Jordan said. “July 2nd, he’s the guy sitting in on the Clinton interview. July 5, 2016, that’s when Comey says ‘we’re not going to prosecute, Clinton’s okay — and then August 2016, we have this text message. The same month that the Russian investigation is opened at the FBI. And my guess is that August 2016 is the same month that the application was taken to the FISA court to spy on Americans using this dossier that the Clinton campaign paid for, Democrats paid for. Fake news, all dressed up, taken to the court.”