The Strzok texts continue to be the gift that keeps on giving.
Newly redacted text messages discovered by congressional investigators reveal that an embattled FBI agent at the center of the Russia investigation controversy was close friends with a District of Columbia judge who recused himself from the criminal case over former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, congressional members said, and text documents show.
The never before seen text messages, which were a part of the texts given to Congress by the Department of Justice, show that FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his paramour FBI attorney Lisa Page discussed Strzok’s relationship with U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, who presided over a Dec. 1, 2017, hearing where former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Strzok was removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel’s Office last year after anti-Trump text messages between him and his FBI agent lover were discovered by the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz. But on Dec. 7, without warning, Judge Rudolph Contreras was removed as the presiding judge on Flynn’s case. Little information was given at the time as to why Contreras was removed.
Page: “Thought of it because you had to Google FISC judges and him there. I’m telling you.”
Strzok: “….She brought up a good point about being circumspect in talking to him in terms of not placing him into a situation where he’d have to recuse himself.”
Page: “I can’t imagine you either one of you could talk about anything in detail meaningful enough to warrant recusal.” Page then goes back to discussing a different issue saying, “Anyway, maybe you meant to, but didn’t.’
Strzok: “Really? Rudy. I’m in charge of espionage for the FBI. Any espionage FISA comes before him, what should he do? Given his friend oversees them?”
And that's the more urgent part.
Contreras, an Obama appointee, is also a judge on the secret federal court which decides on requests for wiretap warrants on foreigners and U.S. citizens.
In Sept. 2016, a judge on the court — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court — granted as least one wiretap warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The judge who ruled on that warrant remains unidentified, as is usually the case with FISC proceedings.
So we've got Strzok, taking out an anti-Trump insurance policy, while being on quite good terms with the judge who makes warrant decisions. It's inappropriate, but also commonplace in government.
But this leads us to the ground zero of Team Coup.
But the memo states that FBI agent Pete Strzok opened the investigation in July 2016 based on "information" about Papadapoulos, rather than the dossier...
After the counterintelligence investigation began, the memo states, the FBI used the Steele dossier, in part, to obtain surveillance warrants for Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who is not related to Lisa Page.
Then-FBI Director James Comey sought and received a warrant to spy on Carter Page in October 2016, the document states.
Considering the problems with the entire investigation, especially the use of Clinton opposition research, did a personal relationship and political solidarity play a role?