President Trump said Monday that newly revealed text messages between former FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok prove “a conspiracy” to undermine his administration.
Text messages between the pair, who were also having an affair, discuss whether to open a case in a “formal chargeable way,” according to Fox News, which broke the story Monday. The texts, sent two hours after former FBI Director James B. Comey was fired, did not specifically mention Mr. Trump.
“We need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting,” Mr. Strzok texted Ms. Page on May 9, 2017, after Mr. Comey is terminated. It is not clear which case Mr. Strzok is referring to or if it involves Mr. Trump.
“Andy” is believed to be a reference to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who temporarily led the bureau until Christopher A. Wray was confirmed as permanent director in August 2017. Mr. McCabe was fired in April, just before his scheduled retirement, for lying to investigators.
Ms. Page replies, “We need to lock in (redacted). In a formal chargeable way. Soon.”
Mr. Strzok agreed. “I’ve been using and I’ll reemphasize with Bill,” likely to be Bill Priestap, who helms the bureau’s counterintelligence division.
Mr. Trump said on Twitter the texts amount to a conspiracy against him.
Immediately after Comey’s firing Peter Strzok texted to his lover, Lisa Page “We need to Open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy (McCabe, also fired) is acting. Page answered, “We need to lock in (redacted). In a formal chargeable way. Soon.” Wow, a conspiracy caught?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 17, 2018
However, it is not clear which case the pair are talking about in their exchange. Mr. Strzok cryptically references to “the case” in April 2017, but that text also provides little new information.
“I would like to get something written as well because we have specific written direction to open the case and now a bunch of informal discussion,” Mr. Strzok texts. “Need to be able to show if asked, why did you not open when the (general counsel), cc:ing the (deputy director), directed you in writing last Friday to open. Thanks.”
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