Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., is asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for additional internal government documents and emails after a release of text messages suggested there was a coordinated FBI-DOJ effort to make certain information public to damage President Trump.
The document was uncovered by reporter Sara Carter, who explained the letter from Meadows told Rosenstein a “review of the new documents raises grave concerns regarding an apparent systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials at the FBI and DOJ related to ongoing investigations.”
Meadows cites, in the letter, a text message in 2017 from former FBI agent Peter Strzok to his mistress Lisa Page to talk about a “media leak strategy.”
The letter says, “For example, the following text exchange should lead a reasonable person to question whether there was a sincere desire to investigate wrongdoing or to place derogatory information in the media to justify a continued probe.”
It cites Strzok’s message to Page that stated, “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”
Such detail is “troubling enough,” Meadows wrote, but he said the events around the actions “call the motives of the investigative team into question.”
“While Strzok and Page texted about media leaks on April 20-12, 2017, during the same timeframe as FBI and DOJ officials were having conversations with reporters, the Washington Post broke a story on the Carter Page FISA application on April 11, 2017, setting off a flurry of articles suggesting connections between President Trump and Russia.”
He continued, “Other documents indicate DOJ officials, specifically Andrew Weissman, participated in unauthorized conversations with the media during this same time period.”
Meadows pointed out that during congressional interviews with Strzok and Page, “FBI attorneys consistently suggested witnesses could not answer questions due to the U.S. Attorneys’ Manual’s policy for ongoing investigations.”
“However, documents strongly suggest that these same witnesses discussed the ongoing investigations multiple times with individuals outside of the investigative team on a regular basis.”
Meadows wrote: “Our task force continue to receive troubling evidence that the practice of coordinated media interactions continues to exist with the DOJ and FBI. While this activity may be authorized and not part of the inappropriate behavior highlighted above, it fails to advance the private march to justice, and as such, warrants your attention to end this practice.”
Congress now would like to review text messages, emails and written community involving FBI and DOJ officials Stu Evans, Mike Kortan and John Pientka, Meadows said.
“To be clear, we are not suggesting wrongdoing on the part of Evans, Kortan and Pientka – and, in fact, previously reviewed documents suggest that some of these individuals may share the committees’ same concerns. However, these additional documents, with an emphasis on communication with the aforementioned individuals and Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and Andrew Weissman, would provide the critical insight into the backdrop of the Russia investigation.”
The apparent targets of the investigation include Strzok, who belligerently claimed to Congress he didn’t let his extreme dislike of President Trump affect his decisions regarding investigations of Trump or his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, and McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after an inspector general claimed he lied to investigators.
Carter reported months ago that Weissman, who is working on the Russia probe, had met with reporters from the Associated Press in April 2017 just one day before their explosive story on Paul Manafort’s dealings with Ukrainian officials.
“According to sources familiar with the meeting, the reporters had promised to share documents and other information gleaned from their own investigation with the Justice Department,” her report said.
WND reported last month Ohr claimed the FBI was aware when it submitted the Russia dossier, a Hillary Clinton opposition research document, as evidence to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign that the document’s author was biased against Trump and that Ohr’s wife worked for the company that produced it.
That information, however, was withheld from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, which granted warrants to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page.
The revelations come from congressional sources with direct knowledge of the closed-door deposition who spoke to Carter.