Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) ― who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and previously suggested that a joke text indicated there really was an anti-Trump "secret society" within the Federal Bureau of Investigation ― released a report Wednesday that was written by his staff. The pair both previously worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe of alleged collusion between President Donald Trump's campaign and Russia; Strzok was also part of the Clinton investigation.
"On July 1, 2016, following Attorney General Lynch's announcement that she would follow the FBI's recommendation in the Clinton investigation, Page wrote, 'it's a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought" against Secretary Clinton.
Former President Barack Obama pledged that he did not speak with FBI directors about pending investigations throughout his presidency in a 2016 interview with Fox News' Chris Wallace. "I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday".
The messages - some of which revealed personal biases against President Donald Trump - have stirred controversy in Washington and caused many Republicans on Capitol Hill to question the FBI's independence in their Russian Federation probe.
Some of Strzok and Page's texts have drawn concern over what looks like more than general anti-Trump sentiment. Strzok replied, "Omg, I am so depressed". The report included numerous messages between Strzok and Page, but noted that they "do not provide a full and complete picture" and that "further investigation and inquiry is necessary".
"I know", Page responded. Page's text message, in contrast, was never meant to see the light of day, was therefore more candid, and may have greater credibility.
"The time line Sen. ohnson put out makes no sense", CNN correspondent Evan Peretz said on "OutFront" on Wednesday night, adding: "It appears this is yet another one of these text messages that is being misinterpreted".
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And they wouldn't be the first, since his yearlong investigation already "reportedly contributed to the early resignation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe".
Last week, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) released a memo - with Trump's approval - alleging that United States law enforcement abused its powers by wrongly spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
Other texts show more examples of the officials' opposition to Trump.
Fox News noted: "The question becomes why Comey was only informed by his investigative team on October 27, if the Clinton emails on Weiner's laptop were discovered by September 28, at the latest".
In a May 19, 2017 text message, Strzok appeared to express hesitation about joining Robert Mueller's Russian Federation investigation team because he had a "gut sense" that "there's no big there there".
The Associated Press reports the new texts were among 50,000 sent between Page and Strzok, along with messages criticizing Trump during the campaign as an "idiot".