September 14, 2018 | Larry O'Connor, The Washington Times
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For light is capable of “showing up” everything for what it really is. It is even possible (after all, it happened to you!) for light to turn the thing it shines upon into light also. (Ephesians 5:13-14 Phillips)
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The latest string of text messages between disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok and his in-house paramour Lisa Page appear to show a concerted strategy to leak secret information to The Washington Post and The New York Times.
The text message detailed in a letter from Rep. Mark Meadows, North Carolina Republican, to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein paint a damning picture of media manipulation in April 2017, just weeks before FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Trump.
“I had literally just gone to find this phone to tell you I want to talk to you about media leak strategy with DOJ before you go,” Mr. Strzok texted Ms. Page on April 10, according to Mr. Meadows, quoting text messages recently released by the Justice Department after nearly a year of intragovernment wrangling between congressional Republicans and the DOJ.
Two days later, Mr. Strzok alerted Ms. Page that two articles would be coming out about Ms. Page’s “namesake,” one that would be worse than the other. Ms. Page’s “namesake,” it is reasonable to conclude, is Naval Academy graduate and retired Navy intelligence officer Carter Page, who had been under secret FISA surveillance since October 2016. . .
Over the course of the days of these texts, a series of articles detailed the ultrasecret FISA warrant information about Mr. Page, claiming that the FBI had concrete evidence that the former Trump campaign volunteer was acting as an agent of a foreign government, Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
At the White House, meanwhile, an increasingly frustrated Mr. Trump was being assured by Mr. Comey that the president was not under investigation.
However, Mr. Comey and his team at the FBI couldn’t figure out a “media leak strategy” to get that story out. The only leaks Mr. Comey’s dream team could come up with, apparently, were illegal ones suggesting that Russians had infiltrated the newly inaugurated president’s campaign and maybe even his White House.
This is a deceitful and sordid story with potential crimes of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and, at the very least, illegal release of state secrets related to national security.
But Ms. Strzok and Mr. Page’s media leak strategy was able to work only if they had partners at The Washington Post and The New York Times. The leaks fed a ravenous beast in those papers’ newsrooms, which were hungry to damage the new president and vindicate their chosen candidate, Hillary Clinton. . . .
As the whole “Russia probe” drama unfolds little by little, bear in mind that while much of the scandal envelops the FBI and DOJ over their misconduct during the 2016 election (in their mishandling of the Clinton email case as well as their surveillance of the Trump campaign), the mainstream media is very much a part of the scandal.
You can’t have a “media leak strategy” without plenty of willing accomplices in the media. (Commentary by Larry O’Connor, The Washington Times.)