Newly released text messages from an anti-Trump FBI agent and his mistress, an FBI lawyer, revealed that the two had discussed the creation or meeting of a “secret society.”
The text’s ambiguous meaning has congressional investigators, like Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas), stumped. They explained their concerns surrounding the new messages on Fox News Monday.
What did they say?
Ratcliffe told Fox News host Martha MacCallum:
We learned today about information that in the immediate aftermath of [Trump’s] election that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI to include [Lisa] Page and [Peter] Strzok that would be working against him.
I’m not saying that actually happened, but when folks speak in those terms, they need to come forward to explain the context with which they used those terms.
Gowdy went on to explain the text about the “secret society” was sent the day after Donald Trump was elected president.
"The day after the election, the day after what they really, really didn't want to have happen, there's a text exchange between [Strzok and Page] ... saying, 'Perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society,’” Gowdy began.
“So, of course, I’m going to want to know what secret society are you talking about because you're supposed to be investigating objectively the person who just won the Electoral College. So yeah — I‘m going to want to know,” he added.
Watch their explanations:
The revelation about the alleged secret society comes after the Department of Justice delivered 384 pages of texts between Strzok and Page to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs late last Friday.
Those texts revealed that Strzok, Page and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew in advance that then-FBI Director James Comey would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton in the FBI's probe of Clinton's private email server. The texts also revealed that Strzok and Page discussed deleting texts, according to Gowdy.
But what really made headlines over the weekend was the FBI’s admission they “failed to preserve” five months of text messages between Strzok and Page. Ironically, the messages were from a very important time period beginning during the middle of the presidential transition and ending on the day Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel of the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed on Monday to do everything in his power to retrieve the lost messages.
"We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source," Sessions said in a statement, according to the Washington Post.