For citizens that protested the Patriot Act, and were shocked by the revelations of government surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden, recent news about the Steele Dossier, which was paid for with cash funneled from the Clinton Campaign, to the DNC and then though law firms is extremely troubling. For Virginians, we have to wonder just how involved was former Governor McAulliffe? As campaign chairman for Mrs. Clinton, how could he not be aware of the payment for Steele’s work? As this thing unravels, Governor Northam, McAulliffe’s right hand man, and who was hand picked to be the Democratic nominee, may have some explaining to do. Also, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele. Throughout the text exchanges, Warner seemed particularly intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being aware. In one text to the lobbyist Adam Waldman, Warner wrote that he would “rather not have a paper trail” of his messages.
A new batch of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page revealed that President Barack Obama wanted updates on the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The pair both worked at one point for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
News about Obama wanting updates from Comey on the Clinton email probe is troubling given that he said months earlier that ‘I do not talk to FBI directors about pending investigations. … I guarantee that there is no political influence in any investigation.’
But the new batch of texts now raise questions about Mr. Obama’s involvement in the Clinton investigation.
On Sept. 2, 2016 — just weeks away from election day — Ms. Page texted Mr. Strzok, her lover, about preparing a report for then-FBI Director James B. Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”
The message was one of more 50,000 texts the pair sent over a two-year span between July 2015 and July 2017. Mr. Strzok was the lead investigator on the Clinton email probe. He was also, briefly, a member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating ties between Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The texts have raised questions about Mr. Strzok’s independence on both cases. Previously released texts have revealed Mr. Strzok’s and Ms. Page’s anger toward Mr. Trump, calling him an “idiot” and “loathsome.”
In another text, Mr. Strzok calls Virginians who voted against then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s wife “ignorant hillbillys” (sic).
Mr. McCabe’s wife, Jill, ran for a state Senate seat in Virginia but lost. Mr. McCabe received criticism for allegedly slow-walking the Clinton investigation and the fact that his wife received nearly $500,000 in campaign donations from a Political Action Committee affiliated with then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Virginia, Democrat, who was also chairman of Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.
That text came from Strzok to Page on Nov. 4, 2015, the day after Jill McCabe lost a hotly contested Virginia state Senate election. Strzok said of the result,“Disappointing, but look at the district map. Loudon is being gentrified, but it’s still largely ignorant hillbillys. Good for her for running, but curious if she’s energized or never again.”
In another email on 8/26/2018, Strzok and Page disparage southern Virginia:
Strzok – Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support…
Page – Yep. Out to lunch with (redacted) We both hate everyone and everything.
Page – Just riffing on the hot mess that is our country.
Strzok – Yeah…it’s scary real down here
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., along with majority staff from the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, released the texts, along with a report titled, “The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI’s Investigation of it.”
The newly uncovered texts reveal a bit more about the timing of the discovery of “hundreds of thousands” of emails on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop, ultimately leading to Comey’s infamous letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election.
On Sept. 28, 2016, Strzok wrote to Page, “Got called up to Andy’s [McCabe] earlier.. hundreds of thousands of emails turned over by Weiner’s atty to sdny [Southern District of New York], includes a ton of material from spouse [Huma Abedin]. Sending team up tomorrow to review… this will never end.” According to the Senate report, this text message raises questions about when FBI officials learned of emails relevant to the Hillary Clinton email investigation on the laptop belonging to Weiner, the husband to Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
It was a full month later, on Oct. 28, 2016, when Comey informed Congress that, “Due to recent developments,” the FBI was re-opening its Clinton email investigation.
“In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday…” Comey said at the time.
The question becomes why Comey was only informed by his investigative team on Oct. 27, if the Clinton emails on Weiner’s laptop were discovered by Sept. 28, at the latest.
Other texts show more examples of the officials’ opposition to Trump.
On Election Day 2016, Page wrote, “OMG THIS IS F***ING TERRIFYING.” Strzok replied, “Omg, I am so depressed.” Later that month, on Nov. 13, 2016, Page wrote, “I bought all the president’s men. Figure I need to brush up on watergate.”
The next day, Nov. 14, 2016, Page wrote, “God, being here makes me angry. Lots of high fallutin’ national security talk. Meanwhile we have OUR task ahead of us.” (what is the task?)
Page’s meaning here is unclear, but Senate investigators say, coupled with Strzok’s Aug. 15 text about an “insurance policy,” further investigation is warranted to find out what actions the two may have taken.
The last text is from Page to Strzok, and comes on June 23, 2017, when she wrote, “Please don’t ever text me again.”
It’s unclear whether she became aware that they, and their thousands of texts, had been discovered.