“Text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page debating how much information to share with the Justice Department about a London meeting — days after the bureau opened its initial Russia investigation — are drawing fresh scrutiny as alleged surveillance abuse and the probe’s origins are investigated by three separate probes, Fox News has learned.
On Aug. 3, 2016, Strzok wrote, “I think we need to consider the lines of what we disclose to DOJ. For example, the last stipulation notes we will not disclose [the] identifies outside the FBI. I think you might argue the unauthorized disclosure might (reasonably) be expected to cause exceptionally grave damage to US national security…”
In an earlier discussion on Aug. 2, 2016, Strzok reported he had a “good meeting.” Page warned, “Make sure you can lawfully protect what you sign. Just thinking about congress, foia [Freedom of Information Act], etc. I’m sure it’s fine. I just don’t know how protection of intel-type stuff works in that context.”
Fox News has learned some of the words and names that were redacted in the string of Strzok-Page messages; they are included below.
The New York Times was first to report lengthy details about the 2016 meeting in question, when the FBI “dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.” The report said this assignment included questioning Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer. Downer’s information about then-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos helped lay the foundation for the FBI’s counterintelligence probe – which later grew into former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
House Republicans, continuing to probe the texts, have considered August 2016 a pivotal month. They have been looking closely at these exchanges, and how long before the August meeting Downer reported the Papadopoulos information.” (Read more: Fox News, 7/03/2019)