"Secret society" within FBI, DOJ trying to take Trump down, Congressman Gowdy claims House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) claims "lost" text messages between two FBI staffers, disparaging President Trump, reference a "secret society" within the Executive Branch of the U.S. government.
The exchanges between the two agents - who were also lovers - has given rise to a shadowy deep state conspiracy theory that involves claims of a "secret society" created to bring down the President.
Democrats have dismissed the call for a second special counsel, accusing them of pushing a conspiracy to undermine Mueller's investigation.
In one from February 2016, Page texted Strzok then-candidate Trump "simply cannot be president".
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on January 22 announced the Justice Department will investigate the missing text messages.
Strzok and Page also discussed former FBI Director James Comey's statement exonerating Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server.
The text messages are missing for the period between December 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, the latter of which is significant because it is the same day Robert Mueller was appointed to head the FBI's probe of possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. "I mean, yes, the fact that this investigation was going on in the middle of a presidential campaign, everybody knew that".
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told Congress that many Samsung 5 mobile devices used by the agency failed to "capture or store text messages due to misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI's collection capabilities", according to a letter he wrote. "I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concerned there's no big there there".
But he overstated the number of missing texts.
The department has now launched an investigation into the missing texts.
Host John Berman asked Toobin if it was suspicious to have lost six months worth of texts between Strzok and Page, but Toobin dodged the question and said there should be an investigation. Trump himself tweeted Tuesday about the issue.
On Tuesday, Johnson revealed more of the text exchanges while speaking on a conservative radio show in Wisconsin. It was reported last week via Senate testimony released from August that Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent, may have been paid by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for a rendezvous with a potential agency contact in Rome - leading to the publishing of the dossier. Reports said Strzok was also having an affair with Page.
The probe will next turn its attention to Trump, with the Washington Post reporting that Mueller wants to question the President in coming weeks.