An intriguing tidbit from another great piece by John Solomon at The Hill.
Memos the FBI is now producing to the Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general and multiple Senate and House committees offer what sources involved in the production, review or investigation describe to me as "damning" or "troubling" evidence.
They show Strzok and his counterintelligence team rushing in the fall of 2016 to find "derogatory" information from informants or a "pretext" to accelerate the probe and get a surveillance warrant on figures tied to the future president.
One of those figures was Carter Page, an academic and an energy consultant from New York; he was briefly a volunteer foreign policy adviser for the GOP nominee's campaign and visited Moscow the summer before the election.
The memos show Strzok, Lisa Page and others in counterintelligence monitored news articles in September 2016 that quoted a law enforcement source as saying the FBI was investigating Carter Page's travel to Moscow.
The FBI team pounced on what it saw as an opportunity as soon as Page wrote a letterto then-FBI Director James Comey complaining about the "completely false" leak.
"At a minimum, the letter provides us a pretext to interview," Strzok wrote to Lisa Page on Sept. 26, 2016.
Within weeks, that "pretext" - often a synonym for an excuse - had been upsized to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant, giving the FBI the ability to use some of its most awesome powers to monitor Carter Page and his activities.
The key to this investigation has been the intersection of three organizations.
1. The Clinton campaign
2. The media
The million dollar question has always been the degree of collusion. That's pretty straightforward with the Clinton campaign and the media. The question mark has rested on the government side of things. And the investigation has revealed the growing collusion between the media and figures in the FBI. Since the media essentially functions as an arm of the Democrats, that's serious.
And here we have a leak to the media being strategically used to ramp up an investigation. It's not the first time that happened. The FISA warrant was largely based on Fusion GPS' work with the media. But this is a more direct line with a leak to the media being used to go after Page. It's also the entrapment element that's at issue. Accuse through the media, use the denial to go deeper.
And the other question is to what degree are Mueller's people and their constant stream of media leaks relying on the same tactic.