Johnson Widens his Probe

For most of last week, Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security committee, was mocked for talking to the press about a “secret society” at the FBI. The media, Democrats, and some NeverTrumpers on the Right accused the senator of pushing conspiracy theories based on what they called a “joke” contained in a text between two Bureau lovebirds, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the day after Donald Trump won the presidency. Even though Johnson also said his committee has an informant who verified off-site meetings of FBI officials taking place in late 2016 and early 2017, the media’s portrayal of the senator as a tinfoil hat-wearing conspiracist took off nonetheless.

Well, Johnson might get the last laugh: He is now widening the search of communications from top FBI officials, including former director James Comey, as well as demanding emails sent between President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton when the then-Secretary of State was in Russia. Johnson sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein this morning, asking for “additional communications including texts, emails, memos, and voicemails relating to the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and candidates for the 2016 presidential election for 16 F.B.I. and DOJ officials.” The committee also wants the calendars of those officials from January 2015 until now. (It did not say whether the committee would accept Putin-themed calendars.)

Johnson’s latest request is prompted by a new cache of texts between Peter Strzok, the lead FBI investigator on the Clinton email probe, and his lover, Lisa Page. In an exchange on April 10, 2016, the same day Fox News aired an interview with Obama where the president said he “continued to believe that [Clinton] has not jeopardized America’s national security,” Strzok told Page that he was “increasingly profoundly bothered by JBs [sic] call and the lack of ANY heads up. Deeply. It was wrong given what I had already been asked to do.” (Strzok is apparently referring to James Baker, the former head of the Bureau’s Office of General Counsel, who was reassigned last December amid suspicions he leaked information about the Steele dossier to Mother Jones several days before the 2016 presidential election.)

When he expressed more frustrations to Page about the investigation—“I’m not sure if I want to be part of this”—Page reassures him that he has “every right to be angry and frustrated about being left out of the loop on your investigation, especially when you’re going to be left holding the bag.” Johnson wrote in the letter that while “it is unclear whether Mr. Strzok’s frustration was related to the President’s comments, the timing of the communication raises questions about the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email server investigation.”

The committee’s investigation has already uncovered evidence that the original draft of Comey’s July 5, 2016 statement refusing to recommend charges against Clinton was revised several times. According to reports, an early draft of Comey’s statement indicated Clinton “used her personal email extensively while outside the United States, including from the territory of sophisticated adversaries. That use included an email exchange with the President while Secretary Clinton was on the territory of such an adversary.” A subsequent edit replaced “President” with “senior government official.” (Other edits included swapping “grossly negligent” with “extremely careless” and downgrading an original assessment it was “reasonably likely” that hostile actors accessed Clinton’s email server to it was “possible.”) Further, according to National Review Online’s Andrew McCarthy, “Obama had his email communications with Clinton sealed. He did this by invoking a dubious presidential-records privilege.”

Johnson now wants the emails sent between Obama and Clinton when she was in the “territory of a sophisticated adversary,” also known as Russia, no later than February 14.

In addition, any texts, emails, voicemails, or instant messages sent by the 16 FBI officials that refer to the “FBI’s Midyear Exam investigation, the presence of classified information on Secretary of State Clinton’s private email server, or candidates for the 2016 presidential election for the following custodians” must be turned over to the committee. Johnson wants to know whether any of these employees had similar “software glitches” with their devices that allegedly resulted in the failure to retain five months of text message between Strzok and Page. (The Inspector General has informed the committee that those texts will be recovered.) Amid chatter between Strzok and Page that the bureau might have considered issuing iPhones—Strzok asks about “[getting] around our security/monitoring issues”—Johnson is also asking if anyone working on the Midyear exam received an iPhone.

Could this be the group that Page referred to as the “secret society?” A committee spokeswoman told me the list was expanded to include people who worked on the Midyear exam, but why ask for calendars, particularly for a timeline way beyond the end of the Clinton email investigation? Is the committee looking for overlap in their schedules that might confirm off-site meetings?

As we await the release of the Nunes memo, Johnson’s latest inquiry is a reminder that, no matter what’s contained in that memo, we are still a long way off from getting to the bottom of this scandal. We think we know the answers and the players, but we do not. As bad as it looks now, it could get much worse.

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82 responses to “Johnson Widens his Probe”

  1. The cleansing of the Augean stables of our federal bureaucracies cannot commence fast enough

      • I would bet that they were proposed as candidates by little Jared – legacy insider in dirty Dem politics.

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    • How is that funny? Oh, you’re a deviant leftist, so you took a normal sentence and tried to give it a gutter meaning.

      Got it.

      • Hard to know who to trust. A good indicator is the Senate confirmation vote. Rosenstein and Wray got huge numbers of Dem votes, which is a big red flag imo. Sessions is on the side of good but he is either sandbagging on purpose or he needs to man up and answer history’s call.

      • I will bet it will be discovered that someone in his family is under threat of blackmail. He seemed to become a completely different person in February, 2017.

  2. The investigations will be over once the DEM take the House in Nov. GOP better hold the House.

      • I didn’t say he is not. The core of the inventions happens now at the HOUSE!

  3. Career politicians, bureaucrats and MSM…………a hard rain is gonna fall.

  4. Very informative and well researched…great job and keep digging Julie!

  5. Given the propensity of Obama for lying (“If you like your doctor,” Iran ransom cash, etc.) and the propensity of the Clintons for corruption (deleting e-mails, selling access), does anyone actually doubt that the FBI, DOJ, IRS, CIA, and other agencies were given their marching orders directly from the top?

    • Yea, trump has never lied either…….yes I dont believe in your conspiracy deep state theory.

      • Obama was 8 years in office; Trump just one! SO, if everyone is a liar as you imply, we have 8 arrogant, pig-headed and destructive years under Obama’s corrupt leading-from-behind, and just 1 year of Trump where the stock market is at an all time high and unemployment an all time low. Do you deny these facts?

      • But not everyone lies the same amount. Worldwide economy doesnt start or stop that fast homey. The economy has added jobs for 88 straight months.

      • Record high market, record low unemployment–that’s the direct effect of consumer confidence, de-regulation, and tax cuts. Why is it that Obama presided over the worst economic recovery in history and tried to convince us all that tepid growth was the “new normal?” And you never did address Clinton corruption.

      • Because that happened during Bush dummy…..where the f have you been? Sorry youll need to cite the corruption claims.

      • Dow down 400 points from some alt right memo from the lackey nunes?

      • Seems like Trump was right again! The left and their sleazebags used fake information paid for by Hillary to spy on their opposition. Quaint, no?

      • He was spied on before that dumbass, and the fisa app was renewed 3 times dummy. And the application was after he was on the campaign, dam son.

      • Then you agree the Dems politicized the FBI, CIA, FISA, the AG, and the IRS?

      • Obama inherited the worst crash since the great depression dummy.

      • And handed out $1T to “shovel (NOT) ready” projects like an idiot. And double the national debt to $20T like an idiot. And had the worst recession recovery in history because of his socialist policies. We should have been where we are today 6 years ago were it not for the community organizer trying to handle the economy.

      • Dude, I dont want your analysis. 88 straight months of job growth, it aint all trump.

      • Barney Frank, your gay hero, had most to do with the downturn.

      • Sorry bro, cant accept your analysis. And what is wrong with being gay?

      • Nothing wrong with being gay until he was trafficking little boys from his congressional office. And what’s wrong with pointing it out?

      • But im glad you admit Obama gets some credit for the great economy trump inherited.

      • NONE! That idiot fought tooth and nail against business for 8 years. “You didn’t build that.” Never in human history has more incompetence been displayed by a single human being, let alone a president. Obama can only be credited for 8 years of corruption, ineptitude, race-baiting, and stupidity.

      • Dont you fix cars for a living? Certainly nobody pays you for economic analysis, right?

      • You’re a socialist, right? Check out Venezuela to see where the Obama/Clinton/Sanders pack of idiots were taking us. Come on, you must be at least a little happy with all the economic success of the Republicans, aren’t you? And remember, if you’re not paying your fair share of taxes, just mail more in–government will always take it.

      • Nope right back. I think you are either socialist, communist, or blind/deaf/dumb. Which is it?

      • OHHHH! Your liar lies less than my liar. While then, just include the Clintons to the mix. There, you win on the lies/person scale.

      • Im glad you admit maga man lies, must trumpkins wont even admit that.

      • And it is welcomed that you admit Obama lies and the Clintons are corrupt. Real progress for you progressives!

      • Like I said, everyone…even your momma lies. Some more than others. Your economic analysis is still laughable, sorry bud.

      • While my economic analysis may not be to your liking, I’ve got a lot more after this lengthy and record stock market gain that I ever had with Obama. That’s my analysis–call it what you will.

  6. The idea of a ‘secret society’ is hardly unreasonable, Evelyn Farkas tacitly admitted to such during her infamous MSNBC interview from March of last year.

    Even though she had been out of Fed Gov service for years and working for Hillary 2016, she admits to meeting with current Fed Gov employees and discussing classified materials (and encouraging their leaking).

    So it’s not a crazy idea at all.

  7. “A revolution every now and then is a good thing.” Thomas Jefferson

  8. The hub of all the unethical and illegal activity is HRC. Ranging from her own behavior to people acting on her behalf expecting to be rewarded, HRC is at the center of the email scandal, the “fix” being in for the email scandal, the Uranium One scandal, the pay-for-play in the SoS office, the Steele “dossier,” FISA warrants and “wire tapping,” and unmasking American citizens.

    The scandals of The Obama Error make Watergate appear as child’s play by comparison.

      • You can find out without the memo.
        Three years before Page became an adviser to the Trump campaign, he came to the attention of FBI counterintelligence agents, who learned that Russian spy suspects had sought to use Page as a source for information.

        In that case, one of the Russian suspects, Victor Podobnyy — who was posing as a diplomat and was later charged by federal prosecutors with acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government — was captured on tape in 2013 discussing an effort to get information and documents from Page. … In one secretly recorded conversation, detailed in the complaint, Podobnyy said Page “wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] practice the language. He flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on Gazprom thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious that he wants to earn lots of money.’’

  9. Republicans attacking republicans never thought I’d see the day

  10. That retard didnt even get the text messages right. I heard there is a pizza shop in dc that does illegal stuff for clinton……derrrrr.

  11. Just think. A lot of what has been discovered comes from the IG investigation demanded by Democrats! In a thoroughly corrupt organization the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. When we finally know as much as we can know we will owe much to the outrage of those Democrats who didn’t know how much the DOJ and FBI was doing for them. How bizarre is that?

  12. As much as I despise special prosecutors, this act of treason by Clinton, comey, FBI, DOJ and what on the surface appears to be Obama is the only way these people will actually be prosecuted. What we have seen with the principles is they will be allowed to just resign, many with full pensions. It is unacceptable for traitors to get off so easy. We are just asking for it to happen again.. and next time they may pick our president as they tried to this time.

  13. I always thought those who might pursue a career in law enforcement would lean conservative instead of left wing radical.

    • The only ideology these people have is power.They don’t care about anything else

  14. You suckas got got again but nunes……and king maga……never learn.

  15. It is worth remembering that Mueller and Rosenstein were collaborators on muffling the information about the corruption involved with Clinton-Obama’s Uranium One. Here, some years later, Mueller and Rosenstein are again collaborators – this time trying to muffle the information on the corruption involved with Obama’s Justice and Intel agencies. “Thick as thieves” is the phrase that comes to mind…

    • Can you cite your first claim? Thanks. Memo shows now corruption, sorry homey.

  16. I think we know all the players at DOJ and FBI but the State Department will soon be exposed also

  17. Time to appoint a Special Counsel with open authority like Mueller’s. Start by offering immunity to Strzok and once that happens, the dominoes will start falling. Follow up by prosecuting anyone who violated U.S. law, including obama. The very fabric of our country is at stake.