Two FBI officials caught sending anti-Trump texts to each other have seemingly confirmed conspiracy theories of a “deep state” effort against the President within the government.
In a series of texts, the officials discussed forming a “secret society” of FBI officials that would work against President Trump, whom the pair despised. The two officials were later assigned to Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion, but were removed after their texts came to light.
Critics have long scoffed at suggestions that there was a “deep state” effort against Donald Trump, even before the election, but the newly-released texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page seem to have validated those concerns.
The revelation of a proposed “secret society” also comes as the FBI admits they lost five months worth of text messages between the two, during the time period in which Donald Trump took office.
Two top FBI officials under fire for exchanging anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 election spoke of a “secret society” the day after President Trump’s victory, according to two lawmakers with knowledge of the messages.
Peter Strzok — a top counterintelligence official involved in both the Hillary Clinton email probe and FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe — exchanged more than 50,000 messages with senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was romantically involved.
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, said Monday that among the messages the pair exchanged are references to a “secret society” within the Department of Justice and the FBI.
“We learned today about information that in the immediate aftermath of [Trump’s] election, that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI — to include Page and Strzok — that would be working against him,” Ratcliffe said Monday on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum.”
“I’m not saying that actually happened, but when folks speak in those terms, they need to come forward to explain the context with which they used those terms,” he added.
Gowdy said the “secret society” reference occurred the day after Trump won the presidential election in November 2016.
“There’s a text exchange between these two FBI agents, these two supposed to be objective fact-centric FBI agents, saying that perhaps this is the first meeting of the ‘secret society,’” Gowdy said.
“So of course I’m going to want to know what secret society you’re talking about because you’re supposed to be investigating objectively the person who just won the Electoral College; so yeah I’m going to want to know,” he said.
It isn’t the first time the messages have raised questions about what may have been going on at the FBI. In one previously released message, Strzok appeared to make reference to an “insurance policy” against a Trump win.
“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 that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40…” he wrote.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Strzok claims the message was addressing a colleague who felt the FBI could take its time with allegations of Trump/Russia collusion because Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was thought certain to win.
“Andy,” meanwhile, may have been a reference to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who is at the center of new tensions with the Trump administration.
The developments come as the DOJ announced that the FBI “failed to preserve” five months of texts between Strzok and Page.
“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 provided to Fox News. “If we are successful, we will update the congressional committees immediately.”
The missing messages from Strzok and Page span a crucial window, between the presidential transition and the launch of Mueller’s Russia probe. Strzok was removed from the probe by Mueller after he learned of the messages.
Fox News interviewed Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) on the issue. Here is the video.