“Text messages sent between Strzok and Page, which were first obtained by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, suggest that McCabe was a preferred line of direct communication for Strzok. These same texts indicate that both Strzok and Page frequently met directly with McCabe. Priestap admitted he did not know the frequency of such meetings:
Mr. Brebbia: “Would they frequently meet with then Deputy Director McCabe without you being there?”
Mr. Priestap: “No. I have no idea of the frequency in which that might have occurred. But while responsible for this case, I couldn’t drop the thousands of others cases and matters, issues I was responsible for. And so I had numerous regular meetings outside of the office with other U.S. Government entities, what have you.
“And as a result, in this particular case, Pete would often be a point person if I was, for example, half the day at the Central Intelligence Agency, and things came up, they could go direct — ‘they’ meaning my 7th floor, EAD, deputy director, would know they could go straight, of course, with Pete.
“So I would think — I have no idea of the exact numbers, but these meetings absolutely would have occurred without me.”
A report published by Horowitz in June last year, which reviewed the FBI’s investigation of the Clinton email case, included the notable statement that several witnesses had informed the IG that Page “circumvented the official chain of command, and that Strzok communicated important Midyear case information to her, and thus to McCabe, without Priestap’s or Steinbach’s knowledge.” Steinbach, who was the executive assistant director and Priestap’s direct supervisor, left the FBI in early 2017.
Page’s role as special counsel to McCabe has been described by former FBI general counsel James Baker in congressional testimony as being both unique and undefined.
“I expected them [Page and McCabe] to report back to me about important things. And I had leave it to both of their discretion to figure out that — what important was, I know it’s kind of vague. But that was how we were supposed to try to work it out,” Baker told lawmakers on Oct. 3, 2018. (Read more: The Epoch Times, 1/29/2019)