The Department of Justice is seeking former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s text messages and according to government sources those will play a significant role in understanding the FBI’s probe into both President Donald Trump’s campaign and the bureaus’s handling of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send government emails.
Lawmakers unsuccessfully attempted to get the text messages during the litany of Congressional investigations that have culminated in Attorney General William Barr appointing Connecticut prosecutor John Durham to investigate the FBI’s handling of the 2016 election probe. Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-CA, said his committee was stymied by the FBI when they attempted to retrieve McCabe’s communications.
This is the kind of issue that really needs more transparency. There’s been too much unnecessary secrecy surrounding the entire Russia investigation- the American people deserve to know exactly what happened, Devin Nunes
“The House Intelligence Committee tried to get the McCabe texts in the last Congress, but we were stonewalled,” Nunes told SaraACarter.com on Monday. “This is the kind of issue that really needs more transparency. There’s been too much unnecessary secrecy surrounding the entire Russia investigation- the American people deserve to know exactly what happened.”
The text messages between FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his then lover FBI attorney Lisa Page were regarded as a trove of information for congressional investigators. Page and Strzok’s text messages were turned over and for the most part – other than the details of the pairs private romantic relationship- to lawmakers during the congressional probes. The lawmakers were able to read the texts as part of the ongoing investigations either in-camera or when certain portions were declassified and made public.
“The DOJ Inspector General found that Andrew McCabe ‘lacked candor, including underneath, on multiple occasions,’ and that he disclosed sensitive information about ongoing investigations to members of the press,” said Rep. Matthew Gaetz, R-Florida, on Monday. “The FBI’s own Office of Professional Responsibility recommended McCabe’s firing. It is imperative that the DOJ have access to the full universe of Andrew McCabe’s communications — Congress and the American people deserve transparency, both to better understand McCabe’s role in the attempted ‘coup’ against President Trump, and to ensure that systemic corruption of this magnitude never happens again.”
DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec declined to comment.
Judicial Watch also sought the text messages earlier this year. The government watchdog group filed a motion in May to obtain McCabe’s text messages on behalf of FBI supervisory special agent Jeffery Danik.
Danik, who served 28 years in the FBI, filed a motion against the Department of Justice last year for refusing a Freedom of Information Act Request to turn over the texts, as well as McCabe’s FBI emails. Danik had originally filed a FOIA to obtain the communications two years ago.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told this reporter Monday that his organization is still awaiting a court ruling on obtaining McCabe’s text messages.
“It is astonishing that the FBI is not only playing games with Judicial Watch and Congress but also the Justice Department on text messages,” said Fitton. “It is as if Comey is still running the FBI.”
Those communications can be a revelation as to how senior leadership at the FBI, handled the probe into Trump’s campaign and the bureau’s decision to not pursue any charges against Clinton for her use of a private server to send and store classified government emails.
The bureau, however, unsuccessfully tried to get the lawsuit dismissed.
According to government sources, McCabe’s undisclosed text messages from 2016 were mainly blacked-out when requested and obtained by congressional investigators during Republican led investigations into the bureau’s handling of the Trump Russia probe.