The FBI did not warn the Trump campaign that two members of its campaign were under FBI investigation when agents met with the campaign in August 2016 to warn it about national security threats.
Fox News’ Catherine Herridge reports that the FBI’s mid-August 2016 counterintelligence “defensive briefing” for the Trump campaign did not notify campaign officials that Mike Flynn and George Papadopoulos were under investigation. Fox News reports:
Strzok, who was later removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team for sending anti-Trump texts, was a central coordinator for the FBI on the defensive briefing, which included multiple agencies. Three weeks earlier, Strzok opened an FBI counterintelligence investigation into campaign aide George Papadopoulos.
A source familiar with sensitive records documenting the August briefing told Fox News that Strzok was in a unique — and apparently conflicted — position. Strzok opened the FBI investigation into Russian outreach to Trump campaign aides, while at the same time he was supposed to be warning the Trump campaign about Russian activities.
During a segment on Fox News, Herridge noted that the time of the events is significant as days before the briefing Strzok and Page spoke about their “insurance policy” against then-candidate Donald Trump.
“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,” Strzok texted FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whom he was having an affair with.”It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
After that text message was released last summer, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro wrote:
This looks an awful lot like motivation for launching an investigation into Trump in order to sink Trump as a hedge against Trump’s victory. The FBI’s investigation into Russian governmental interference in the election began in July 2016, just weeks before Strzok’s text message. And that means that there is now more of a smoking gun of FBI corruption against Trump than there is of Trump colluding with Russia.
Herridge further notes that just a couple of days before the infamous “insurance policy” text message, the two anti-Trump agents had the following text message exchange:
Page: [Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!
Strzok: No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.
When that text message was released last summer, Shapiro responded to it by writing:
This is an explicit admission that high-ranking actors in the FBI saw preventing Trump’s presidency as paramount. Barring some highly damning information demonstrating the full legitimacy of the Russia investigation, this text from Strzok to Page could and should completely destroy whatever faith that America still had in the legitimacy of the Russia investigation.
Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee, told Fox News on Thursday:
There was a defensive briefing of candidate Trump on Aug. 17 of 2016. And I can tell you what he wasn’t told: He wasn’t warned about a Russia investigation that Peter Strzok had opened 18 days earlier.
Why would Peter Strzok, who would participate at Jim Comey’s direction in a defensive briefing designed to protect and warn a candidate, be the same person who is in fact at that time already investigating the candidate’s campaign? That shouldn’t happen. There should be answers to those questions.