Congressional Republicans investigating leaks by FBI in Russian inquiry
Republican-led House and Senate committees are investigating whether leaders of the Russia counterintelligence investigation had contacts with the news media that resulted in improper leaks, prompted in part by text messages amongst senior FBI officials mentioning specific reporters, news organizations and articles.There is more including alleged leaks by a member of Mueller's team prior to joining it. This story does not discuss the content of the Wall Street Journal article being discussed, but it certainly give the impression that the two of them were aware of the leak before it happened. Hopefully the Congressional investigation can soon identify the material leaked and those who had access to it.
In one exchange, FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and bureau lawyer Lisa Page engaged in a series of texts shortly before Election Day 2016 suggesting they knew in advance about an article in The Wall Street Journal and would need to feign stumbling onto the story so it could be shared with colleagues.
“Article is out, but hidden behind paywall so can’t read it,” Page texted Strzok on Oct. 24, 2016.
“Wsj? Boy that was fast,” Strzok texted back, using the initials of the famed financial newspaper. “Should I ‘find’ it and tell the team?”
The text messages, which were reviewed by The Hill, show the two FBI agents discussed how they might make it appear they innocently discovered the article, such as through Google News alerts.
“I can get it like I do every other article that hits any Google News alerts, seriously,” Strzok wrote, adding he didn’t want his team hearing about the article “from someone else.”
Strzok played a key role in the early Russia election meddling probe before he was removed last summer by special counsel Robert Mueller for exchanging text messages critical of President Trump, then still a candidate, with Page.
The Justice Department has told Congress that Strzok had engaged in an affair with Page, who served as a lawyer advising FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The Hill reviewed nearly three dozen texts in which the two agents discussed articles, tried to track down information about a specific New York Times reporter or opined about leaked information in stories that they fretted were “super specific.”