Those who have traveled the deep weeds will know the Washington Post is the primary and historic defense media for the Intelligence Community (IC). That backdrop is CRITICAL to understanding this story.
The Washington Post is quick to the presses ahead of congressional intelligence committees discovering the specific content of communication between the lead FBI agent on Robert Muellers team… that led to an Inspector General investigation… that led to Mueller firing the top FBI agent from the team.
Again, for EMPHASIS, this Washington Post report is specifically trying to get out ahead of the story to defend Mueller and the FBI.
FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok (above left), was the deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI. He was the tip-of-the-spear in the Clinton email investigation assigned by James Comey. FBI Agent Strzok was part of a very small special team, called the “skinny team”, tasked with investigating Hillary Clinton. Agent Peter Strzok was one of the few people who actually interviewed Hillary Clinton.
Additionally, this year agent Peter Strzok was personally selected by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be the TOP FBI AGENT in charge of the investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian collusion conspiracy.
However, as a direct outcome of an Inspector General investigation into Peter Strzok, it is just coming to light that text messages and written communication between Strzok and an FBI lawyer named Lisa Page will show a strong bias to clear Clinton and against Trump.
Behind the communication, Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page were having an affair. Strzok and Page communicated with each other about their disdain and hatred for Donald Trump while they were key members of the Muller investigative team.
Robert Mueller found out about the IG investigation and the reason therein. Mueller subsequently removed Peter Strzok from the team because he realized how damaging the documented communication would be if anyone found out about the inherent bias. That IG report will come out soon.
Robert Mueller did not fire agent Strzok for the bias or for the affair with Lisa Page; Mueller fired him because the IG discovered evidence of the bias and the affair.
Now there is a strong possibility the details of the communication between Strzok and Page will surface, because the inspector general report will come out; hence the Washington Post article written today in an effort to get out ahead of the controversy:
WASHINGTON POST – The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supportive of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.
During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.
The people discussing the matter did not further describe the political messages between Strzok and Page, except to say the two would sometime react to campaign news of the moment.
The Justice Department inspector general’s office said in a statement Saturday that its investigators are “reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them.’’
A spokesman for Mueller’s office said Strzok was removed “immediately upon learning of the allegations,’’ and added that Page left the Mueller team two weeks before they became aware of the allegations.
Here’s the money quote which tells the motive behind the WaPo story:
[…] Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe, and the FBI more broadly, according to the people familiar with the matter.
During the Clinton email investigation, Page was a regular participant when Comey would hold “skinny group’’ meetings on the case — a small collection of advisers that gathered to address sensitive cases, according to people familiar with the case. (read more)
In August 2017, ABC News reported that Agent Strzok was removed from the investigation. The news came one week after agents executed a search warrant on the Virginia home of Trump’s now-indicted former campaign manager Paul Manafort.
The reason Strzok was taken off the probe was unknown at the time, as he was well-respected in the industry as a law enforcement officer working counterintelligence cases. He was deemed to be one of the top investigators in the probe. ABC News reported that Strzok was taken off the Russia investigation and was sent to work in the F.B.I.’s human resource office, deemed a demotion within the agency.
A little over one month after Strzok’s departure, ABC News reported that F.B.I. lawyer Lisa Page also left the special Russia investigation. Page was known by various reports as being deeply experienced in “money laundering and organized crime cases,” and was part of what Wired magazine referred to as his “investigator’s dream team.”
Do you think we’ll ever see the actual content of their communication?
Oh, what a tangled web is weaved…