President Donald Trump said FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was leading the agency’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, committed treason by attempting to remove an elected president from office.
Trump said that Strzok conspired to remove him from office using the Russia collusion investigation.
The alleged conspiracy is also tied to former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as well as to former President Barack Obama.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Trump said Strzok committed treason by creating an “insurance policy” to get Trump—an elected president—out of office.
In text messages obtained by the Justice Department, Strzok—who played a lead role on both the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, as well as into the allegations of Trump colluding with Russia—is praising Clinton while disparaging Trump.
In one of the text messages Strzok sent to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whom he reportedly had an affair with, he refers to a meeting they had in the office of Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe in which they discussed an “insurance policy” in the scenario that Trump won the election.
“A man is tweeting to his lover that if [Hillary Clinton] loses, we’ll essentially do the insurance policy. We’ll go to phase two and we’ll get this guy out of office,” said Trump in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 11.
“This is the FBI we’re talking about—that is treason,” the president said. “That is a treasonous act. What he tweeted to his lover is a treasonous act.”
Treason is defined under article 3 in the U.S. Constitution as aiding enemies against the United States or levying war against it.
Under U.S. law, treason is punishable by death or imprisonment for a minimum of five years.
The House Intelligence Committee is currently investigating Strzok’s role in the FBI investigation. Last week, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes announced he had reached an agreement with the Department of Justice to obtain the nearly 10,000 text messages Strzok sent, as well as all relevant documents on Fusion GPS, the FBI investigation, and witness interviews.
Strzok, however, played only one part in the alleged conspiracy to remove Trump from office.
Anti-Trump Dossier Part of Conspiracy
At the heart of allegations of Russian collusion is a dossier on Trump produced by strategic intelligence firm Fusion GPS.
The 35-page dossier, marked as classified, relies almost exclusively on Kremlin-linked sources. Law professor Ronald Rychlak, a leading expert on Russian disinformation, told The Epoch Times in an earlier interview that the information contained in the dossier had the hallmarks of a Russian disinformation campaign.
The dossier was paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The payments were funneled to Fusion GPS through the law firm Perkins Coie and mislabeled in Federal Election Commission filings to avoid detection, The Washington Post reported.
The House Intelligence Committee is currently investigating whether the dossier, whose main claims have either been disproven or remain unverified, was used by the FBI to launch its investigation.
Award-winning national security reporter Sara Carter reported on Jan. 11, citing multiple sources, that the FBI used the report to obtain a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to spy on members of Trump’s team.
The court warrant obtained by the FBI was used by top Obama administration officials to spy on Trump’s team, and potentially Trump himself, during and after the elections.
At least two top Obama officials have been revealed to have used the FISA warrant to spy on the Trump team. Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, as well as Obama’s ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, made dozens of so-called “unmasking requests” for the identities of members of Trump’s team in intelligence reports.
Trump made references to the surveillance in a tweet on March 4, 2017, when he wrote: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Part of what the House Intelligence Committee will be investigating is what the information the top Obama officials obtained was used for. One concern is that the information was shared with Clinton during the elections.
The House investigation also includes DOJ official Bruce Ohr. Ohr was demoted from his position of associate deputy attorney general after it was revealed in December that he had secretly met with Fusion GPS employees, including co-founder Glenn Simpson.
Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was also working for Fusion GPS during the elections doing research on Trump.
The House committee is also investigating payments that Fusion GPS made to journalists. Last week a federal court ordered Fusion GPS’s bank to hand over records to the committee. The committee had sought the bank records in part because of Fusion GPS payments to journalists who reported on Russia-related matters.
Court documents from the UK show that the dossier’s author, former British spy Christopher Steele, had given briefings to journalists on the contents of the dossier. Steele and his company are currently being sued for libel by a Russian businessman mentioned in the report.
Steele’s defense attorney says in the court documents that Steele was instructed by Fusion GPS to brief reporters of The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, CNN, and Yahoo News on the contents of the dossier.
The briefings appear to have been the source of several stories published on the allegations that Trump colluded with Russia.