Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., already has one strike against him for thinking two FBI agents were being serious when they joked about an intra-bureau "secret society." He may have earned a second strike this week following the publication of a report detailing additional texts between those same agents, counterintelligence expert Peter Strzok and attorney Lisa Page.
The report, titled "The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI's Investigation of it," highlights a Sept. 2, 2016, message from Page, which reads, “[former President Obama] wants to know everything we're doing." This text, the report explains, raises questions about the agency’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized State Department email server.
Although sometimes cryptic and disjointed due to their nature, these text messages raise several questions about the FBI and its investigation of classified information on Secretary Clinton’s private email server....They wrote about drafting talking points for then-Director Comey because President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.”
The report, which was prepared by the majority staff of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, repeats the charge several pages later:
On September 2, 2016, Page wrote about preparing talking points for Director Comey because “potus wants to know everything we’re doing.” This text raises additional questions about the type and extent of President Obama’s personal involvement in the Clinton email scandal and the FBI investigation of it.
I wrote yesterday that this text doesn’t prove Obama lied when he said in April 2016 that he doesn’t “talk to FBI directors about pending investigations.” After all, at the time of the reported presidential request, the Clinton investigation had already concluded. The agency only reopened the case later, in late October – after Page's September text.
More importantly, though, the Wall Street Journal is now reporting that the September text wasn’t even about Clinton anyway.
“Associates of the FBI employees said [the Sept. text] refers to preparation to brief Mr. Obama about Russian interference in that year’s election,” the Journal reported.
The article added:
The associates of Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page said that exchange referred to the president’s wanting information on Russia election meddling, which the FBI was heavily involved in over that period. That exchange occurred just days before Mr. Obama met Russian President Vladimir Putin at a summit in China. Mr. Obama said in December 2016 that he had addressed the issue of tampering with the election process with Mr. Putin at that September meeting.
It’s possible the Wall Street Journal report is inaccurate. It’s possible Page's September text was indeed in reference to Clinton.
But that would mean Obama wanted updates on an investigation that had already been closed, which seems odd. Either that or he somehow anticipated that the agency would reopen the case later in October, which makes equally little sense.
There’s another possibility: Sen. Johnson, who whiffed hard with the “secret society” episode, got over his skis again.
The DOJ has redacted several FBI texts due to alleged security concerns, so it's hard to know the exact truth. Until we have the full content and context of these conversations, it’s impossible to decipher exactly what these two FBI lovebirds were going on about.