Between Strzok and Meadows, war of words after texts tell of FBI ‘media leak strategy’

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A top Republican congressman and fired FBI agent Peter Strzok’s lawyer traded scathing, no-holds-barred accusations of deliberate dishonesty on Tuesday, one day after newly unearthed text messages showed Strzok discussing a “media leak strategy” with the Justice Department in April 2017.

The texts were first outlined in a letter sent by Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday. In one of the messages, dated April 10, Strzok tells former FBI attorney Lisa Page, “I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go.”

In a revised letter sent Tuesday, Meadows, who serves on the House Oversight Committee, writes that on April 22, Strzok texted that “article is out! Well done, Page.” It is unclear what article Strzok was referring to, or whether it was about the Russia case. In Meadows’ original letter, however, he claimed that exchange occurred on April 12 — one day after The Washington Post published a story titled, “FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page.”

Meadows’ revised letter also includes a comment from Strzok to Page on April 12, in which Strzok suggests an article about Page’s “namesake” would soon come out. That was an apparent reference to Page, the former Trump adviser whom the FBI surveilled for months after obtaining a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. During April 2017, there was widespread reporting about Page, his Russia contacts, the FBI’s interest in those contacts and the surveillance warrant that is supposed to remain secret.

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