President Trump’s order to declassify a broad swath of DOJ/FBI documents related to the Russia investigation will expose the infamous “insurance policy” referred to in an August 15, 2016 text between former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA).
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” reads the text message in question – used by many in Trump’s camp to bolster claims that the Russia investigation is “rigged witch hunt.”
Speaking with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham, Nunes said that declassification will provide exculpatory evidence, including a dozen or so 302 witness interview forms from DOJ official Bruce Ohr which may shed light on his significant relationship with former MI6 spy Christopher Steele and “many other rotten apples.”
“A lot of people think that the insurance policy was getting the FISA warrant on [former Trump campaign aide] Carter Page,” Nunes told Ingraham, adding “We actually believe it was more explicit than that.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) September 18, 2018
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump had ordered the documents released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Justice Department “[a]t the request of a number of committees of Congress, and for reasons of transparency.” –Fox News
Adam Schiff (D-CA), ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Trump’s decision to release the documents “a clear abuse of power.”
“[Trump] has decided to intervene in a pending law enforcement investigation by ordering the selective release of materials he believes are helpful to his defense team and thinks will advance a false narrative,” Schiff said. “With respect to some of these materials, I have been previously informed by the FBI and Justice Department that they would consider their release a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods.
“This is evidently of no consequence to a President who cares about nothing about the country and everything about his narrow self-interest,” Schiff added.
President Trump has intervened again in a pending investigation by ordering the selective disclosure of classified materials he believes to be helpful to his defense. The DOJ and FBI have previously informed me that release of some of this information would cross a “red line.”
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) September 18, 2018
Trump also ordered the DOJ to release text messages from several key players in the Trump-Russia investigation, “without redaction,” of former FBI Director James Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, now-fired special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page and twice-demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr.
WH: Trump has “directed the Department of Justice (including the FBI) to publicly release all text messages relating to the Russia investigation, without redaction, of James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, and Bruce Ohr.” pic.twitter.com/IdVYLvceYK
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) September 17, 2018
A spokesman from the Justice Department told Fox News that the DOJ and FBI “are already working with the Director of National Intelligence to comply with the President’s order,” while ODNI spokesperson Kellie Wade told the network: “As requested by the White House, the ODNI is working expeditiously with our interagency partners to conduct a declassification review of the documents the President has identified for declassification.”
As we reported before, the FBI fired Agent Peter Strzok — at one time one of the leaders of the bureau’s investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign — for writing critical text messages about the future president, Reuters reports.
Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s lawyer, told the paper that FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich ordered that Strzok be canned on Friday — even though the head of the FBI office that usually metes out discipline had ruled Strzok should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension.
Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI’s assurances that Strzok would go through the normal disciplinary process.
“This isn’t the normal process in any way more than name,” Goelman said.
Trump took to Twitter to gloat about the agent’s termination — and once again slam the bureau.
“Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI – finally. The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the Witch Hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total Hoax. No Collusion, No Obstruction – I just fight back!” he said.
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 13, 2018
The president also said his firing should mean that the probe into Hillary Clinton’s email server — which Strzok oversaw — should be reopened.
“Just fired Agent Strzok, formerly of the FBI, was in charge of the Crooked Hillary Clinton sham investigation. It was a total fraud on the American public and should be properly redone!” he wrote.
— overpasses4America (@o4america) August 13, 2018
Strzok was removed from the feds’ probe into Russia and Trump by special counsel Robert Mueller after texts critical of Trump that he sent to his then-lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, were discovered.
Strzok, a 22-year veteran of the FBI, had already been a frequent target of President Trump’s Twitter tirades.
“Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX. The Democrats paid for the phony and discredited Dossier which was, along with Comey, McCabe, Strzok and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, used to begin the Witch Hunt. Disgraceful!” he tweeted on Aug. 1.
Trump has also mocked Strzok and Page as “FBI lovers,” and exploited their relationship and anti-Trump views to try to discredit Mueller’s ongoing probe.
”Will the FBI ever recover it’s once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired? So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!” he tweeted on Saturday.
FBI Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote after probing Strzok and Page that Strzok showed a “willingness to take official action” to hurt Trump, citing a text he sent telling Page “we’ll stop” Trump from getting elected.
Testifying before the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees last month, Strzok did not deny that he held deep animus toward the president — but that his personal bias did not affect his work.
Horowitz reached the same conclusion.
Strzok told lawmakers that there was “no evidence of bias in my professional actions” and that his having to testify was “just another victory notch in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s belt and another milestone in our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
September 18th, 2018