The Justice Department Owes Us Answers About Those Texts They Released

Richard Ellis via ZUMA

We all know that FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page don’t think much of Donald Trump. This is because the Justice Department, for reasons they still haven’t explained, decided to release a whole bunch of private texts they sent to each other during the 2016 campaign season. Republicans have been making endless hay of this to argue that it contaminates the entire Mueller investigation.

But was it only Trump the pair disdained? Not at all. The Wall Street Journal’s Del Quentin Wilber has done us all the favor of reading through the texts and highlighting the ones that refer to politicians. It turns out that Strzok and Page, like many of us, pretty much hate them all. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Congress: “i LOATHE congress.”
John Kasich: “He’s the only sensible man up there.”
Mitch McConnell: “always reminds me of a turtle.”
Martin O’Malley: “is a freakshow.”
The Republican convention: “Duck Dynasty now Scott Baio? Ridiculous.” “Charles in Charge?! That’s the best they can do?! Lmfao.”
Bernie Sanders: “Made me want to key the car.” “He’s an idiot like Trump.”
Jeff Sessions: “My god.” “Which is the f-ed uppedness of it.”
Roger Stone: “is horrible.”
Donald Trump: “OMG he’s an idiot.” “Trump is a fucking idiot.”

In other words, they’d watch the debates and dump on everyone, a scene repeated in millions of households all over the country. The only difference is that most of us get to keep our cynical remarks to ourselves.

I’m sure glad I don’t work for someone who can decide to release all my texts to the public just for the hell of it. The Justice Department really owes us all an explanation of who decided to release these texts and why it was done in this case.

UPDATE: It was someone in the Justice Department who released the text messages, not the FBI. I’ve corrected the text.

OUR NEW CORRUPTION PROJECT

The more we thought about how MoJo's journalism can have the most impact heading into the 2020 election, the more we realized that so many of today's stories come down to corruption: democracy and the rule of law being undermined by the wealthy and powerful for their own gain.

So we're launching a new Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption. We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We'll publish what we find as a major series in the summer of 2020, including a special issue of our magazine, a dedicated online portal, and video and podcast series so it doesn't get lost in the daily deluge of breaking news.

It's unlike anything we've done before and we've got seed funding to get started, but we're asking readers to help crowdfund this new beat with an additional $500,000 so we can go even bigger. You can read why we're taking this approach and what we want to accomplish in "Corruption Isn't Just Another Scandal. It's the Rot Beneath All of Them," and if you like how it sounds, please help fund it with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate