We have new text messages via The Hill’s John Solomon that indicate the White House was either running or trying to run the secret FBI counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016.
Here’s what Solomon write that occurred just days after the official FBI investigation was opened on July 31:
THE HILL – Over several days, they exchanged texts that appear to express fears of political meddling or leaking by the Obama White House, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the CIA.
“This is MUCH more tasty for one of those DOJ aholes to leak,” Strzok wrote as the two FBI colleagues — then having an affair, the bureau later told Congress — debated how long they could delay a CIA-FBI meeting so as to “not play into the agency’s BS game.”
They voiced alarm when an FBI colleague — “Liz” — suggested the Obama White House was about to hijack the investigation. “Went well, best we could have expected,” Strzok texted Page after an Aug. 5, 2016, meeting. “Other than Liz quote ‘the White House is running this.’ ” Page then texted to assure Strzok of a paper trail showing the FBI in charge: “We got emails that say otherwise.”
The next day, they went into further detail about their White House concerns. “So maybe not the best national security president, but a genuinely good and decent human being,” Page texted Strzok, referencing former President Obama. Strzok replied: “Yeah, I like him. Just not a fan of the weakness globally. Was thinking about what the administration will be willing to do re Russia.”
Here’s the actual ‘White House is running this’ text message in question:
That’s insane, but unsurprising. It also wouldn’t be the first time Obama used the power of the federal government against his political enemies. But if they can prove Obama and/or his minions tried to sway the 2016 election via this investigation, that would make Watergate looks like a tea party argument between two little girls!
But that’s not all. Solomon explains what he calls the “curious origins” of this FBI investigation, showing that there were contacts made with Trump campaign officials months before the official investigation had begun:
The summer 2016 text messages are bookends to a series of London contacts that pre-date the official opening of the investigation and produced the evidence the FBI used that fall to justify its court-ordered surveillance of presidential campaign figures.
According to documents and government interviews, one of the FBI’s most senior counterintelligence agents visited London the first week of May 2016. Congress never got the FBI to explain that trip — but, soon after it, one of the most consequential moments of the scandal occurred: On May 10, Australian diplomat Alexander Downer met in a London bar with Trump adviser George Papadopoulos, who boasted of knowing that Russia would release dirt on Clinton.
That contact was not immediately reported to U.S. intelligence.
By early June, a second overture to a Trump campaign adviser occurred in London. In a “Dear Carter” email, a Cambridge University graduate student invited Trump campaign adviser Carter Page to attend a popular July security conference in London.
Carter Page declined to tell me the student’s identify but confirmed the student studied under Stefan Halper, a Cambridge University professor who helped organize the conference and has been identified in media reports as a confidential FBI source.
Carter Page said conference organizers paid his airfare and provided him dorm lodging, and Halper spent time with him during the conference, then continued conversations with him for months.
He says Halper asked to be introduced to a high-ranking Trump campaign official, Sam Clovis. On July 16, 2016, Carter Page relayed the overture to Clovis: “Professor Stef Halper spends part of the year in Virginia where he has a home in Falls Church; he’s a big fan of yours having followed you on CNN and offered a range of possibilities regarding how he and the University might be able to help.”
Halper, a month later, emailed Clovis, referencing his contacts with Carter Page. “May I suggest we set a time to meet when you are next in Washington?” Halper invited on Aug. 29, 2016.
In the ensuing months, Carter Page, Clovis and Papadopoulos all became FBI focuses. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in 2017 to a misleading statement about his knowledge of facts in the Russia case. Page become the subject of four surveillance warrants, and Clovis was interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller; neither has been accused of wrongdoing.
The FBI received two more contacts about Trump-Russia allegations before formally opening its probe, both from people tied to Clinton.
A week before Carter Page left for London, the FBI was contacted by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, recently hired by the Fusion GPS research firm to find Trump-Russia dirt; Fusion was paid by the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party.
The FBI did not act on Steele’s July 5, 2016, overture but, weeks later, Steele began working with agents. His now-infamous dossier became a key document justifying the surveillance warrants against Carter Page.
On July 23, 2016, shortly after WikiLeaks released the first hacked Clinton campaign emails, the Australian government contacted the State Department’s deputy chief of mission in London about Downer’s May 10 conversation with Papadopoulos. State forwarded the information to FBI headquarters.
A decade earlier, as Australia’s foreign minister, Downer arranged a $25 million grant to the Clinton family foundation to help fight AIDS.
Downer’s information moved FBI headquarters into action. Strzok was dispatched to London; a formal investigation was opened by month’s end.
Solomon makes clear that this timeline doesn’t necessarily prove anything nefarious:
This timeline doesn’t prove wrongdoing; these contacts could have occurred organically, or been directed legally through intelligence channels. Yet, congressional investigators and FBI insiders tell me, they raise questions about when the investigation officially started and how.
He’s right about that. However the timeline is quite curious and if it ever became the case that the FBI had set these Trump officials up in order to open a counterintelligence investigation, that would be the equivalent of a massive earthquake in the heart of DC.
But we’re not there yet. Be sure and read Solomon’s entire article to see how Congressmen and former intelligence officials are reacting to this.