This post is part of a series about expected news items in 2018. Readers who have not seen the first two posts might find them of interest:
Part 1: hate in Washington DC
Part 2: Hillary WAS supposed to win (The 16 Year Plan to Destroy America)
Part 3: FBI’s missing texts
Today’s instalment has more on the missing texts, FBI agent Peter Strzok and another topic, the ‘secret society’ revealed in these messages.
More missing texts
Fox News has discovered that Strzok and then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page were not the only agency employees to have texts go missing:
The Fox News article says, in part:
EXCLUSIVE: Thousands of FBI cellphones were affected by the technical glitch that the DOJ says prevented five months’ worth of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page from being stored or uploaded into the bureau’s archive system, federal law enforcement officials tell Fox News.
The missing messages have been at the center of a storm of controversy on Capitol Hill, after the DOJ notified congressional committees that there is a gap in records between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017. Strzok and Page are under scrutiny after it was revealed that the former members of Robert Mueller’s team exchanged a series of anti-Trump texts during the presidential campaign.
The gap in records covered a crucial period, raising suspicion among GOP lawmakers about how those messages disappeared.
But Fox News is told that the glitch affected the phones of “nearly” 10 percent of the FBI’s 35,000 employees.
Senior Department of Justice officials told Fox News they are “taking steps” to possibly recover the texts from the appropriate cellphone carriers. The same officials told Fox News they are also making every effort to track down the physical cellphones in question so they could be subject to a forensic review.
True Pundit, which looks click-baity but is run by a former FBI employee, has more, possibly based on anonymous FBI tip-offs. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:
A high-ranking FBI official confirms a number of the missing 50,000 FBI text messages — as well as other text and email messages among FBI brass — reportedly discussed initiating physical harm to President Donald Trump …
The FBI official urged the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — which oversees the U.S. Secret Service — to launch an investigation of the Justice Department, the FBI and all text messages missing and otherwise that threatened the President.
“This is dangerous territory and all FBI text messages and personal phones should be examined,” the official said. “It would reveal some frightening conversations.”
Did FBI brass discuss the assassination of President Donald Trump? If not, what was the nature of the threats against the president from inside the alleged premier law enforcement agency in the United States?
“(Director) Wray wants a lid on this,” the FBI official said. “Many know there was talk of harming Trump politically but there is a group here (in D.C. HQ) that understands it goes deeper. We need a special counsel or Homeland Security. Somebody has to clean this up outside of DOJ. It is unacceptable.
This is scary:
As reported yesterday in True Pundit, members of the FBI and Justice Department’s top brass at their Washington D.C.headquarters and other field offices are now using burner phones to stay under the radar of federal investigators and lawmakers, according to FBI insiders.
The shocking revelations come on the heels of news that the FBI deleted thousands of text messages between anti-Trump FBI agents before investigators could review their content.
While that is disturbing on one level, FBI and DOJ hierarchy employing the telecom habits of drug cartel bosses reaches a new low for the once-heralded federal law enforcement agency and the DOJ. And breaks federal laws as well.
The Hill reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the DOJ will investigate the matter and do everything possible to recover the missing texts:
“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source,” Sessions said in a statement.
“I have spoken to the Inspector General and a review is already underway to ascertain what occurred and to determine if these records can be recovered in any other way. If any wrongdoing were to be found to have caused this gap, appropriate legal disciplinary action measures will be taken,” he continued.
As my post of yesterday pointed out, there are several ways these and other ‘missing’ electronic data can be recovered.
In addition, the phones being used were supposed to be Samsung S5 phones, which do not have a bug that deletes texts. Hmm:
However, The Hill‘s article says that a number of Republican legislators are echoing Trump’s claim that the Robert Mueller investigation is a political witch hunt. Strzok and Page were part of Mueller’s team until he found out about the copious text exchanged between these two anti-Trumpers.
The Daily Caller recaps what Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee told a Milwaukee radio host about one of the texts in which Strzok says that they won’t find anything on Trump, insinuating that he only joined the Mueller investigation to depose the president:
In an interview with WISN-Milwaukee radio host Jay Weber, Johnson read aloud a May 19, 2017 text that Strzok sent to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and his mistress.
Strzok wrote: “You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern that there’s no big there there” …
As the FBI’s deputy counterintelligence chief, Strzok was picked in July 2016 to oversee the investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government. Prior to that, he was a top investigator on the Clinton email inquiry.
“I think that’s kind of jaw-dropping,” said Johnson, a Republican, said of the Strzok text.
“In other words, Peter Strzok, who was the FBI deputy assistant director of the counterintelligence division, the man who had a plan to do something because he just couldn’t abide Donald Trump being president, is saying that his gut sense is that there’s no big there there when it comes to the Mueller special counsel investigation,” he said.
The text message was included in 400 pages of text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page. Lawmakers have started reviewing the trove of documents for evidence of anti-Trump and pro-Clinton bias.
CBS News has a related article with several of the text messages the two exchanged.
Johnson and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary, sent a four-page letter to Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz with a list of questions about these missing messages.
Imperator_Rex thinks there is a strategy behind the news about the missing texts:
5. So while Strzok & Page (or someone else) deleted the texts, I’m not buying the separate conclusion that they no longer exist. Here’s what I think may be happening.
6. Option #1 -The OIG discovered the texts were deleted during their investigation & recovered them. Working with DOJ, they are now leaking fake news to confuse the perps in this conspiracy and/or hoping to stimulate comms between them (they’d all be under surveillance), or
7. #2 – this is part of the lead up to the memo release & part of a well planned, calibrated campaign to educate the American public for that shock, as well as what follows. Remember,most Americans are only just waking up to what many of us have known for months.
8. #3 – they are ALL lost forever, never to be found again. Remember, even if the SMSs are lost (they aren’t), the signatures of where, who, how & when the deletions occurred will remain. AND they already have more than enough evidence to nail these sob’s to the wall, anyway.
9. May be wrong, but one thing I have learned in the last 12 months is NEVER to accept what’s happening on the surface at face value. ESPECIALLY leaks to the media. We learned this in the ‘leaks are real, news is fake’ campaign that started as soon as Trump was inaugurated.
Strzok has been transferred internally and is now working in the FBI’s HR department.
Page has been transferred from the FBI to the DOJ.
However, more transfers — and resignations — have occurred. This could be because of IG Horowitz’s independent investigation of the FBI:
On Tuesday, January 23, James Rybicki, chief of staff to the Trump-appointed FBI director Christopher Wray, resigned. He was to have appeared before the House Oversight Committee the Thursday before.
to testify as part of the committee’s investigation into the Department of Justice’s probe in Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and the decision by then-FBI Director James Comey to announce there would be no criminal charges against the former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
Rybicki will also appear before the House Judiciary Committee, an aide told the Washington Examiner.
He showed up, apparently.
Fox News reported that Rybicki’s departure had been on the cards for months and that he was not fired. He will be moving to the corporate sector.
The Conservative Treehouse has more:
Rybicki was the key figure in circulating and coordinating the “Clinton Exoneration Statement” read by Director Comey. For Clinton endeavor Rybicki was the hub collecting and dispatching communication as the ‘talking points’ were constructed, edited, refined and ultimately finalized.
Additionally, Rybicki was the communication hub surrounding the Clinton-Lynch ‘Tarmac Meeting’ discussion points that led to public statements therein by the FBI and ultimately Loretta Lynch’s public statements about distancing herself from the investigation.
Also, James Rybicki was listed as one of the key witnesses requested by Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes as outlined in the letter of agreement between Nunes and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. James Rybicki was/is being questioned by Nunes et al.
Zachary Harmon is Rybicki’s replacement.
Then, we have this move:
CNN‘s article states:
Dana Boente, the acting head of the Justice Department’s national security division and the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, has been picked to become the new FBI general counsel, according to a source familiar with the move.
Boente was first thrust into the spotlight in January 2017 as the acting attorney general after President Donald Trump fired Sally Yates for her refusal to defend the first travel ban. He later moved to the No. 2 spot at the Justice Department as acting deputy attorney general, tasked with overseeing the Russia probe after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself and then delivering the news to a slew of US attorneys left over from the Obama administration that they had been fired.
He will take the place of James Baker, who was reassigned within the FBI late last year.
I highlighted part of the first paragraph, because his move means that leaves a vacancy for a new US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, no doubt a Trump appointee.
Eventually, the FBI — and DOJ — will be cleaned up, but it won’t be any time soon.
TrumpSoldier has a good thread — complete with video clips — on FBI director Christopher Wray, who is waiting for the IG’s report on the bureau so he can do a complete clean up:
The Strzok/Page text exchange mentioned a ‘secret society’ intending to remove Trump from office:
Michael Goodwin mentions it in a good article in the New York Post about how politicised the FBI has become:
… each day brings credible reports suggesting there is a massive scandal involving the top ranks of America’s premier law enforcement agency. The reports, which feature talk among agents of a “secret society” and suddenly missing text messages, point to the existence both of a cabal dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in 2016 and of a plan to let Hillary Clinton skate free in the classified email probe.
If either one is true — and I believe both probably are — it would mean FBI leaders betrayed the nation by abusing their powers in a bid to pick the president.
ABC News has an exclusive on the ‘secret society’, which includes this:
Asked Wednesday whether he believes there’s a “secret society” inside the FBI to take down the president, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., said, “That’s Strzok and Page’s term.”
“Everything I take with a grain of salt,” he added. “[But] I’ve heard from an individual that … there was a group of managers within the FBI that were holding meetings off site.”
So “when Strzok and Page had described a secret society, that didn’t surprise me because I had corroborating information,” Johnson said.
He declined to describe the “whistleblower” in any way, and he said he did not know what the FBI’s “off-site” meetings might have entailed.
Nevertheless, he said he is “trying to be as transparent as possible.”
Johnson is pictured in the ABC tweet above. He also spoke to Fox News.
Infowars has more, summarising material from True Pundit and its founder who tweets as Thomas Paine:
Paul Joseph Watson tells us:
On Monday, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) revealed that congressional investigators learned from a new batch of text messages between anti-Trump FBI investigators Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that a “secret society” within the DOJ and the FBI had schemed immediately after Trump’s election win to undermine the president …
“They communicate with meetings over cocktails, at homes, via encrypted chat rooms, texting on drug-cartel-inspired burner phones, and even via an email list, according to sources. Others have secured phones in the names of relatives to try to stay under the radar.”
The source of these claims, a Twitter account under the name of Thomas Paine who also runs the intelligence website True Pundit, could be easily dismissed as a crank – if were not for the fact that he exposed the secret society within the FBI a month before it was in the news.
On December 19, 2017 – over a month before it was made public, the Thomas Paine account tweeted, “What is this I hear about a private meeting away from FBI HQ by high-ranking FBI agents trying to get their stories and alibis straight?”
Ross Daniels, writing on Medium, has more:
A source on the inside has informed me of a top secret meeting that is alleged to have taken place between prominent intelligence community officials, both currently serving and retired.
The source details a meeting that took place in Virginia of December 2016 at the The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner. Officials met for several hours, there were some very, very prominent intelligence officials there, including Robert Mueller, James Comey, Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe, John Brennan, James Clapper, Leon Panetta, Phil Mudd, David Petraeus, Michael Hayden & former Attorney General Eric Holder.
My word. If true, that’s an all-star line-up.
They openly joked about the now famous Russian dossier, likely used to obtain the FISA court warrant to spy on the transition team. The source wouldn’t reveal that it was used to obtain the warrant, because of the legal repercussions of declassifying such a revelation, but strongly hinted that was indeed the case …
The source wouldn’t go into too many other details, citing the typical lingo of “can’t compromise sources and methods etc”… this person was also in fear they would be outed for going public about the meeting, a meeting they were told “never took place” upon arriving at the lavish hotel. They tried to take this to more mainstream outlets, but didn’t think anyone would believe the story …
This further proves that the IC was actively working to undermine the President from day one in backroom closed door meetings. I am also told this wasn’t the only meeting.
Former US Attorney Joe diGenova believes this could well be true and, if so, thinks the group still meets. He is none too happy with the current FBI director, Wray, either, for not cleaning house:
Representative Mark Gaetz (R-Florida) gave an interview about the ‘secret society’, calling it a ‘palace coup’:
I do not know how much of this message from another Anon is true — not all of it, one imagines — but it mentions the ‘secret society’ and a plan to kidnap Trump’s grandchildren, suggesting that is why Donald Trump Jr dropped his Secret Service detail for private security.
In closing, here is part of a thread from Representative Mark Meadows (R-North Carolina) about the widespread corruption at the FBI:
Think about how important that is. We have a text from Peter Strzok talking about the pressure to end the Clinton investigation, and then–within 48 hours–documents suggesting Peter Strzok changed Dir. Comey’s letter from criminal charges to just “carelessness.” That’s major.
Folks, this stinks to high heaven. If this is anything what it looks like–the FBI changing course on investigation, putting their thumb on the scale to undermine Donald Trump and essentially help Hillary Clinton–that is as wrong as it gets. This demands further investigation.
And remember, this doesn’t even address a host of other questions! The dossier. The Carter Page FISA application (that they still won’t show us). The 5 months of mysteriously “missing” Page/Strzok texts. The FBI communicating with Fusion GPS/DNC-hired Christopher Steele. Come on.
This is not party politics. This is not partisan bickering. This is an issue that gets at the very heart of who we are as a nation. If any officials at the FBI were engaged in this kind of behavior, we need to know.
Bottom line: tell us the truth. Tell us the truth about what happened with the Clinton investigation, the 2016 election, and leading up to this “collusion” investigation. All of it. Americans deserve the truth.
I will have more on 2018 news next week.