FBI Agents’ Texts Included Attempt to Meet With FISA Judge
By Jason Devaney
Text messages between two FBI officials with ties to the Russia investigation show the pair tried to set up a private meeting with a FISA Court judge in the summer of 2016 right before the FBI began investigating the Trump campaign.
According to The Federalist, FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page exchanged text messages on July 25, 2016 regarding FISA Court judge Rudolph Contreras.
Part of their exchange went as follows:
Page: “Rudy is on the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]! Did you know that? Just appointed two months ago.”
Strzok: “I did. I need to get together with him.”
Strzok: “[He] said he’d gotten on a month or two ago at a graduation party we were both at.”
Strzok: “[REDACTED] suggested a social setting with others would probably be better than a one on one meeting. I’m sorry, I’m just going to have to invite you to that cocktail party.”
Strzok: “Have to come up with some other work people cover for action.”
Page: “Why more? Six is a perfectly fine dinner party.”
It’s not clear if the meeting ever took place, but the FBI did begin investigating the Trump campaign for alleged ties to Russia on July 31, 2016.
Michael Flynn, who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser last year, was indicted for lying to the FBI last Dec. 1. Contreras was the judge who accepted Flynn’s guilty plea, but according to The Federalist he was recused from the case days later for a reason that’s not clear.
Fox News confirmed the existence of the aforementioned text messages and posted screenshots of those and other texts the pair wrote to each other on that same day. Strzok and Page did discuss the possibility of Contreras having to recuse himself from a case, presumably something having to do with the Russia investigation, if Strzok were to speak with him about it.
Thousands of text messages between Strzok and Page, who were dating at the time, have been made public in recent months. Many of the messages seem to indicate there may have been a behind-the-scenes effort to help Democrat Hillary Clinton win the 2016 presidential election and try to bring down Trump via the Department of Justice’s Russia investigation.
The new messages published by The Federalist were not originally given to congressional investigators, a purposeful move.
Another batch of text messages between the FBI officials dating from December 2016 to May 2017 had gone missing earlier this year before DOJ officials were able to locate them.
The FISA Court played an integral role in the Russia investigation because the FBI obtained multiple warrants to spy on members of the Trump campaign through the secret body. It’s not clear if Contreras played a role in securing the warrants.