The congressman was spotted, along with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), by a reporter at the DOJ in Washington on May 23 and was asked about his purpose for being there, the Washington Examiner reported. He responded that he was “reviewing text messages and new correspondence that pertains to the Strzok coverup.”
I asked Rep. Mark Meadows what brought him to DOJ headquarters today. His response: “I was reviewing text messages and new correspondence that pertains to the Strzok coverup”
— Betsy Woodruff (@woodruffbets) May 24, 2019
The visit occurred several hours before President Donald Trump authorized Attorney General William Barr in a memorandum to declassify information or intelligence related to surveillance activities surrounding the campaigns in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump also directed heads of several agencies, including the FBI, CIA, and State Department, to fully cooperate with Barr’s probe into the origins of the investigation of Russia interference into the 2016 election.
“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 24, 2019
“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” Trump said in his announcement on Twitter.
“The Attorney General has also been delegated full and complete authority to declassify information pertaining to this investigation, in accordance with the long-established standards for handling classified information.”
Strzok and Page
Strzok opened and led the counterintelligence investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. He came into the national spotlight in January 2018 with FBI lawyer Lisa Page after their text messages became public, revealing the pair detested Trump and favored Hillary Clinton while working on high-profile investigations in 2016 and 2017 involving both Trump and Clinton.
Some of these text messages include Page asking Strzok while referring to Trump, “He’s not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
In response, Strzok said, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
Strzok was fired from the FBI in August 2018; Page had left the bureau three months earlier.
According to a 2018 report from the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General, the investigators expressed concerns that the text messages between Page and Strzok had “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
The inspector general ultimately concluded that there wasn’t enough evidence to show that “improper considerations, including political bias,” affected the FBI’s investigations at the time.
The Epoch Times reported earlier this year that testimony from FBI and DOJ officials suggests that the bureau may have suppressed or ignored a major lead in the Clinton-email investigation. The bureau learned early in the probe that metadata in Clinton’s emails suggests that virtually every email she sent while secretary of state went to a foreign entity. Trump has suggested that this entity is China.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.