Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz isn’t buying former FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s claim that his reference to a “leak strategy” was about deterring the leaks, not creating them.
New text messages between Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page released by North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows show the lovebirds discussing a “media leak strategy” which Democrats are now refuting.
Dershowitz called for an investigation into the alleged leaks and into the “leak strategy” referenced in the messages between the two.
“It’s much more plausible that he was talking about a strategy designed to leak things selectively to the media to achieve the goal (Donald Trump’s election loss) he set up for himself,” Dershowitz told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Tuesday.
“It doesn’t pass the giggle test,” he said.
Dershowitz slammed ex-Director James Comey, blaming him for the culture at the FBI which he said has bothered him since controversial Director John Edgar Hoover’s tenure from 1924 to 1972.
“He notoriously lived by leaks,” Dershowitz said. “He threatened political enemies.”
Democrats came out swinging against the claim that there is a “systemic culture of media leaking by high-ranking officials” at the FBI and Justice Department, according to Meadows, as they tried to refute the claims point-by-point.
Reps. Elijah Cummings of Maryland and Jerrold Nadler of New York accused Meadows of taking two text messages between Strzok and Page out of context.
“The documents clearly show that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were not discussing how to leak documents to the press — but whether the Justice Department should change its regulations to stop leaks to the media,” the Democrats said, according to Roll Call.
UPDATE: Today we sent an updated letter to DAG Rosenstein, including a newly discovered text + new resulting timeline:
4/12/17: Strzok texts Lisa Page two articles are coming about “her namesake” (Carter Page)
4/22/17: Strzok tells Page: “article is out!” and “Well done, Page” pic.twitter.com/9af9BvbjM3
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 11, 2018
“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,” Strzok texted Page from his government-issued phone on April 10 last year.
The day after this April 10, 2017 text between Strzok and Page talking about a “media leak strategy,” the Washington Post broke a story titled: “FBI obtained FISA warrant to monitor former Trump adviser Carter Page.” Story reported April 11, 2017.
This is deeply troubling. pic.twitter.com/HWHQbbFVXs
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) September 10, 2018
Nadler and Cummings argued that Strzok was actually referring to changes to the DOJ’s “media leak regs” in that text.
According to Roll Call:
When Strzok referred to the “media leak strategy” — the text message Meadows highlighted — later that same day, April 10, he was referring to “the strategy, meetings, and discussions” about press leak regulations and the proposed internal changes to them by some officials.
And when Strzok texted “Well done, Page” on April 22, that was not, as Meadows has postulated, a reference to a report in The Washington Post about 10 days earlier about the FBI obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Democrats said.
“We don’t know how many times Republicans will try this same trick — or how many times President Trump will take advantage of them — but they need to start fulfilling their constitutional duty to conduct credible oversight of the Executive Branch rather than acting as the President’s personal defense counsel,” Nadler and Cummings said.