Text messages from disgraced FBI figures Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, discussing whether to open a “case” in a “formal chargeable way” after Director James Comey was fired, are under fresh scrutiny after Page told congressional investigators there was no evidence of Russian collusion at the time, according to three congressional sources.
Two hours after Comey’s termination became public on May 9, 2017, Strzok, a now-former FBI agent, texted Page, his then-colleague and lover: “We need to open the case we’ve been waiting on now while Andy is acting.”
“Andy” is a reference to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe who temporarily took over the bureau until Christopher Wray was confirmed as director in August 2017.
Page, a former FBI attorney, replied to Strzok: “We need to lock in (redacted). In a formal chargeable way. Soon.”
Strzok concurred. “I agree. I’ve been pushing and I’ll reemphasize with Bill,” believed to be Bill Priestap, the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division.
The text messages were provided to Congress earlier this year, and among the six months of missing messages blamed on software and technical issues with the FBI issued Samsung phones. The recovered texts cover December 2016 to May 2017, including Comey’s firing, and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.