Strzok texted his own handicap of the Russia evidence: “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 there’s no big there there.”
So the FBI agents who helped drive the Russia collusion narrative — as well as Rosenstein’s decision to appoint Mueller — apparently knew all along that the evidence was going to lead to “nothing” and, yet, they proceeded because they thought there was still a possibility of impeachment.
By John Solomon
Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the reported FBI lovebirds, are the poster children for the next “Don’t Text and Investigate” public service ads airing soon at an FBI office near you.
Their extraordinary texting affair on their government phones has given the FBI a black eye, laying bare a raw political bias brought into the workplace that agents are supposed to check at the door when they strap on their guns and badges.
It is no longer in dispute that they held animus for Donald Trump, who was a subject of their Russia probe, or that they openly discussed using the powers of their office to “stop” Trump from becoming president. The only question is whether any official acts they took in the Russia collusion probe were driven by those sentiments.
The Justice Department’s inspector general is endeavoring to answer that question.
For any American who wants an answer sooner, there are just five words, among the thousands of suggestive texts Page and Strzok exchanged, that you should read.
That passage was transmitted on May 19, 2017. “There’s no big there there,” Strzok texted.
The date of the text long has intrigued investigators: It is two days after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein named special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and the Russia campaign.
Since the text was turned over to Congress, investigators wondered whether it referred to the evidence against the Trump campaign.
This month, they finally got the chance to ask. Strzok declined to say — but Page, during a closed-door interview with lawmakers, confirmed in the most pained and contorted way that the message in fact referred to the quality of the Russia case, according to multiple eyewitnesses.
The admission is deeply consequential. It means Rosenstein unleashed the most awesome powers of a special counsel to investigate an allegation that the key FBI officials, driving the investigation for 10 months beforehand, did not think was “there.”