The Russia investigation by the Special Counsel took major hits on Monday after a pair of stories came out that called their credibility into question. First came the revelation that federal prosecutors mislead the public on an aspect of alleged Russian agent Maria Butina’s relationship with a GOP operative. The other entailed evidence that fired FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page conspired to leak anti-Trump stories to an eager press.
The liberal big three broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) were obsessed with the Russia investigation, yet none of them covered either of these stories. It was just a couple of months ago that they were up in arms over Strzok’s firing and came to his aid following a Congressional hearing. Meanwhile, Butina was their new smear against the NRA and Republicans.
Arguably the most damaging to the credibility of the investigation was the text message evidence between Strzok and Page. The Washington Times wrote that this piece of evidence was revealed in a letter from North Carolina GOP Congressman Mark Meadows to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Monday.
The Times quoted the letter, which said:
“Our review of these news documents raises grave concerns regarding an apparent systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials at FBI and DOJ (…) Review of these new documents suggest a coordinated effort on the part of the FBI and DOJ to release information in the public domain potentially harmful to President Donald Trump’s administration.”
The timeline of text messages pointed out by Rep. Meadows was deeply suspicious. “On April 10, 2017, Mr. Strzok text-messaged Lisa Page, his lover and then-FBI counsel, to discuss a ‘media leak strategy,’” the paper reported. “Two days later, Mr. Strzok congratulated Ms. Page on two derogatory stories that appeared about Carter Page, a former Trump volunteer who was then being wiretapped by the FBI.” This could potentially mean that Strzok lied under oath to Congress when he claimed his biases didn't shape how he conducted himself.
As for the Butina story, federal prosecutors were excoriated on Monday by U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan after they admitted on Friday that they were “mistaken” when they accused the alleged Russian spy of trading sex for political access. According to The Washington Post, the judge also slammed Butina’s lawyer for doing interviews. The judge cited concerns that both parties could be responsible for biasing potential jurors.
But the judge’s reprimand of prosecutors cut deep (as reported by The Post):
“It took me five minutes to review the evidence and tell they were joking. It was apparent on their face,” in the texts between Butina and another person, Chutkan said, saying she was “dismayed” that “someone at the U.S. attorney’s office or at the Department of Justice could look at those exchanges and conclude they were serious.”
Clearly, the liberal networks love to latch onto the Russia story when it can be used to attack the President. But when it’s the investigators harming themselves, they don’t want to give it any attention.