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FBI debated in 2016 how aggressively to probe Trump campaign

15 March 2019

Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team in August 2017 following the discovery of the texts and was later fired from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Page and Strzok, who were investigating Russian meddling and possible collusion involving Trump, exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages in December 2017 including one in particular that mentioned an "insurance policy", apparently stemming from a meeting in McCabe's office.

Lisa Page, via social media.

Aitan Goelman, Strzok's attorney, said in a statement Thursday: "Pete welcomes the release of the transcript of his closed-door testimony, which we have been calling for since he voluntarily testified last June".

Lynch said a team of career members of the Justice Department and FBI will present her with recommendations on how to proceed once the investigation has concluded and that she plans to accept the guidance. The Department of Justice under President Trump has reportedly launched an investigation into whether the foundation acted as a "pay-to-play" scheme.

"If there's an allegation, he, of all people, but everybody would want to know: if this is going on in my campaign I want you to tell me about it", Strzok said. But his comments in the transcript of the closed-door interview are the most thorough to date explaining a text Strzok sent Page saying they could not take the "risk" of Trump getting elected.

Trump's tweet comes after Congressman Doug Collins released 370 pages of Page's transcript testimony on his own volition, and promised that he would release even more in the future.

"Included in the transcripts provided to us is information suggesting Brennan was aware of the so-called Steele dossier in early August 2016, and that he included information regarding the dossier in a briefing given to then-Sen". Collins said on the House floor Thursday that he meant to release additional transcripts from that GOP-led probe in the weeks ahead, in the name of transparency.

As deputy chief of FBI's counterintelligence division, Strzok oversaw the Trump-Russia investigation, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane. He said under oath the FBI investigative team unanimously believed Clinton shouldn't be prosecuted.

Then-FBI Director James Comey announced in a July 2016 press conference that while Clinton, then the Democrat presidential nominee, had been "extremely careless" in handling classified information, "no reasonable prosecutor" would attempt to bring a case against her.

He said he didn't recall specifically writing it, but says he now thinks the "we" he was talking about was the country at large.

FBI debated in 2016 how aggressively to probe Trump campaign