Republican lawmakers are digger deeper into the corruption within the swamp and are now calling for a new investigation of media leaks surrounding the Russia investigation that possibly began from the intelligence community.
Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, (R-WI), and Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, (R-IA) are specifically pointing to internal text messages that indicate a more widespread problem.
“[T]hese texts and emails demonstrate the need to investigate leaks from agencies or entities other than FBI,” Grassley and Johnson wrote in a letter to the internal watchdog, Intelligence Community Inspector General Michael K. Atkinson, asking whether he’s launched a probe “into these apparent leaks.”
Johnson and Grassley, in suggesting a broader culture of leaking, pointed Atkinson in their latest letter to messages between former FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page hinting other government agencies may have been leaking to the press — and the FBI could have been aware. This follows a previous letter from the same lawmakers regarding Strzok and Page messages indicating potential efforts to monitor members of the incoming Trump administration during briefings, as reported by Fox News.
The particular messages include a December 2016 text, a month after the election, in which Strzok told Page, “Think our sisters have begun leaking like mad. Scorned and worried and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.”
Chief intelligence correspondent, Catherine Herridge explains that in the “intelligence world” the term “sisters” is typically code for the CIA. (Continued Below)
In April 2017, Strzok also sent an email commenting on an article about the Trump campaign and Russia by saying, “I’m beginning to think the agency got info a lot earlier than we thought and hasn’t shared it completely with us. Might explain all these weird/seemingly incorrect leads all these media folks have. Would also highlight agency as source of some of the leaks.”
During the Obama administration, the CIA was run by John Brennan and the intelligence community was overseen by James Clapper.
“These texts and emails raise a number of serious questions and concerns,” Senators Grassley and Johnson wrote. “For example, who are the ‘sisters’ and what does it mean to say that the ‘sisters have [been] leaking like mad’? What are they worried about, and what are they kicking into ‘overdrive’? Which ‘agency’ is he referring to and why does Strzok believe the referenced news article highlights that ‘agency as [a] source of some of the leaks’?” (Continued Below)
Sen. Johnson said that the leaks “were like an echo chamber reinforcing the anti-Trump storyline.”
When Attorney General Bill Barr testified last week, he told Sen. Grassley that the Justice Department has “multiple criminal leak investigations” underway concerning media contact by department officials during the special counsel’s Russia investigation.
(Related: While Being Gilled By Grassley, Barr Reveals ‘Multiple Criminal Leak Investigations Underway’)
Last month Swamp Drain reported text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page surfaced that indicate they discussed using briefings to the Trump team after the 2016 election to identify people they could “develop for potential relationships,” track lines of questioning and “assess” changes in “demeanor”.
Sens. Grassley and Johnson also sent a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr inquiring about the DOJ’s review of “FBI surveillance of the Trump campaign,” and seeking more information on the transition counter-intelligence briefings as well as media leaks. (Video Below)
Sens. Grassley and Johnson’s official letter:
(Related: (Related: Jim Jordan Zeroes In On Strzok In A Bold First Step To Round Up The ‘Comey Cabal’: ‘[They Need To Be Held Accountable’)