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Trump: FBI agent Peter Strzok’s ‘insurance policy’ text message was ‘treasonous’
Gage Skidmore / CCL
It has become clear over the last several weeks that the FBI hasn’t acted as the impartial investigative force that they claim to be — and President Donald Trump isn’t happy.
The president accused FBI agent Peter Strzok of committing an act of “treason” in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Strzok, who was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team for his anti-Trump text messages, reportedly sent a message to his girlfriend, Justice Department attorney Lisa Page, that appeared to mention an “insurance policy” in case of Trump winning the 2016 presidential election.
Strzok was removed from the FBI’s probe into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russian leaders in July 2017.
During his interview with The Wall Street Journal, the president honed in on a specific text message sent from Strzok to Page that mentioned an “insurance policy” against Trump’s November 2016 win.
The text, sent on Aug. 15, 2016, read:
I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.
“Andy” is widely believed to refer to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who is reportedly now considering a March retirement.
A December report from the Journal said that the “insurance policy” referred to by Strzok “was meant to convey that the bureau needed to aggressively investigate allegations of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.”
Strzok’s message has served for weeks as evidence to Republicans that Mueller’s probe into the president and his team was tainted by biased investigators, but now, Trump is speaking for himself.
“A man is tweeting to his lover that if [Democrat Hillary Clinton] loses, we’ll essentially do the insurance policy,” Trump told the Journal. “We’ll go to phase two and we’ll get this guy out of office. This is the FBI we’re talking about — that is treason. That is a treasonous act. What he tweeted to his lover is a treasonous act.”
Strzok’s name keeps appearing
Strzok’s exchange with Page doesn’t end there. It was revealed earlier this week that the two may have known in advance about a then-upcoming Wall Street Journal article that was published just days before the 2016 general election.
According to The Hill, Page sent a message to Strzok on Oct. 24, 2016 which read, “Article is out, but hidden behind paywall so can’t read it.”
“Wsj? Boy that was fast. Should I ‘find’ it and tell the team?” Strzok reportedly responded. “I can get it like I do every other article that hits any Google News alerts, seriously.”
But Strzok, with his clear political bias, didn’t just work on the Russia probe. The Hill reported that he was also a “key figure in the 2016 FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified material.”
After his removal from the Russia investigation last summer, Strzok was reassigned to the FBI’s human resources department.
Though the text messages are telling, Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, disagrees with the president’s characterization of them as “treason.”
He told the Journal that it was “beyond reckless” for the president to accuse a man who “devoted his entire adult life to defending this country, of treason.”
Title 18 U.S. Code, Section 2381 defines “treason” as:
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
Perhaps the word “treason” was a bit strong, but given that Strzok’s “insurance policy” has come to fruition in the form of the Russia collusion allegations against Trump’s campaign team, the president’s use of the word may be understandable. Trump certainly hasn’t been treated fairly.
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