90 Miles From Tyranny : FISA judge now linked to demoted anti-Trump FBI agent

Saturday, March 17, 2018

FISA judge now linked to demoted anti-Trump FBI agent

A FISA judge who earlier handled proceedings against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, who was targeted by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into so-far unsubstantiated claims of Trump campaign collusion with Russia, was friends with a now-demoted FBI agent also involved in the scandal, a report says.

Investigative reporter Sara Carter writes that newly released text messages obtained by congressional investigators show the agent, Peter Strzok, “was close friends with a District of Columbia judge who recused himself from the criminal case” involving Flynn.

The messages, given to Congress by the Department of Justice, show Strzok and his paramour, FBI attorney Lisa Page, exchanged messages about Strzok’s relationship with Judge Rudolph Contreras.

He presided over a Dec. 1, 2017, hearing in which Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, a charge resulting from Mueller’s work.

Strzok was removed, Carter reported, from the special counsel team when anti-Trump text messages he shared with Page were revealed.

The messages were found by the DOJ’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz.

Then, Carter reports, on Dec. 7 Contreras was removed abruptly from Flynn’s case, with virtually no comment.

Page wrote in a text message to Strzok on July 25, 2016: “Rudy is on the FISC! Did you know that? Just appointed two months ago.”

Carter said: “At that point, the pair continues to discuss other issues but comes back to Contreras, ‘I did. We talked about it before and after. I need to get together with him.’ Then later Strzok appears to return to his discussion about Contreras.

The conversation included messages about being careful not to put the judge in a position in which he would have to drop out of the case.

Page wrote, “I can’t imagine you either one of you could talk about anything in detail meaningful enough to warrant recusal.”

When Strzok explained he was in charge of espionage for the FBI, Page suggested: “Standards for recusal are quite high. I just don’t think this poses an actual conflict. And he doesn’t know what you do?”

Strzok then suggests that a “social setting” meeting would be better than “one-on-one.”

FISA court Judge Rudolph Contreras. Appointed to prior federal court position by former President Obama

Carter reported: “Investigators working with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows, both with the House Oversight Committee, discovered the text messages during their ongoing investigation into the FBI’s handling of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion investigation, the congressional members told this reporter.

“Under rules established by DOJ officials, congressional investigators could only review the less-redacted version of the pairs’ text messages at DOJ headquarters and only the highly redacted version of the texts was allowed to be removed during the ongoing process, they said. Of the 1.2 million documents collected by Horowitz’s team, the House Oversight Committee has only received 3,162 “unique documents,” they...


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