Text messages exchanged between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are being looked at in light of new evidence. The two lovebirds discussed using post-election briefings to gather information on the Trump team after the 2016 election, according to Fox News.
Plainly, they appeared to be looking for White House sources who would spy for the FBI.
Their goal was to identify people they could “develop for potential relationships,” track lines of questioning, and “assess” changes in “demeanor” – language one GOP lawmaker called “more evidence” of irregular conduct in the original Russia probe.
The texts were initially released in 2018 by a Senate committee, and are now being scrutinized again by congressional investigators reviewing the genesis of the FBI’s counter-intelligence probe that was opened in late July 2016 by then-agent Strzok.
They possibly wanted to engineer the briefings to investigate Trump and his associates.
They Did Have One Connection in the White House
According to Sara Carter, Senior Republican chairmen submitted a letter Thursday to Department of Justice Attorney General William Barr revealing new texts from former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok to his paramour FBI Attorney Lisa Page showing the pair had discussed attempts to recruit sources within the White House to allegedly spy on the Trump administration.
The texts show Peter Strzok had one key contact in the White House, The wife of Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Joshua Pitcock, was working as an analyst for Strzok on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server. She recused herself as soon as Pence and Trump became the candidates.
Pitcock is gone now, having left amicably, but rumors abound that Pitcock might have bugged the office.
The text messages begin on the evening of Nov. 17 — nine days after the election. The string discusses an email and briefing to “Pence,” presumably Vice President-elect Mike Pence – and appears to refer to another upcoming briefing.
A few weeks after the presidential election, Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page discussed the logistics for the briefing. Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page said the following [according to Sara Carter]:
Strzok: Talking with Bill. Do we want Joe to go with Evanina instead of Charli for a variety of reasons?
Bill is Bill Priestap, the former FBI Assistant Director of Counterintelligence division. ‘Joe is referencing FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who interviewed former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in January 2017. Pientka is the agent who did not believe Flynn was deliberately lying. And Evanina is in reference to William Evanina, National Counterintelligence, and Security Center.
Page: Hmm. Not sure. Would it be unusual to have [sic] show up again? Maybe another agent from the team?
Strzok: Or, he’s “the CI guy.” Same.might [sic] make sense. He can assess if there [sic] are any news [sic] Qs, or different demeanor. If Katie’s husband is there, he can see if there are people we can develop for potential relationships
Page: Should I ask Andy about it? Or Bill (Priestap) want to reach out for Andy (McCabe)?Strzok: I told him I’m sure we could ask you to make the swap if we thought it.
“This is yet more evidence that the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation was filled with irregularities,” Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said. “The more we discover about the true origins of the investigation, the more abnormal it appears in every conceivable way.”
Late Thursday, citing the same text messages and other incidents, GOP Sens. Chuck Grassley and Homeland Security Committee chair Ron Johnson sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr inquiring about the DOJ’s review of “FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign,” and seeking more information on the transition counter-intelligence briefings as well as media leaks.
THE IG REPORT WILL BE “DEVASTATING”
Last night, investigative reporter Paul Sperry tweeted, “BREAKING: FBI agents Joe Pientka and Mike Gaeta, along with DOJ official Stud Evans are figuring prominently as witnesses in IG Horowitz’s investigation of department FISA abuses.”
Sperry concluded, “The findings in the forthcoming IG report are said to be “devastating.”
Michael Gaeta was an FBI agent and assistant legal attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Rome during the Spygate scandal. He had worked with Christopher Steele on FIFA which is said to have been overblown and is now being looked at by Attorney General Bill Barr. He is believed to have been Steele’s handler.
As we wrote, Joe Pientka interviewed Flynn and concluded he wasn’t lying.
Sperry also wrote that Andrew McCabe personally saw to it that Gen. Flynn was fired. After Sally Yates pressured the White House lawyer on Jan. 30, 2017 and didn’t get anywhere, McCabe sat the Vice President down and had him read Flynn’s 302s (interview report). The NSC chief, Mike Flynn was fired the next day.
He also tweeted that it is now looking as though Barack Obama had a heavier hand in interfering in the 2016 election than Putin. Developing story.