Donald Trump just accused two FBI employees who worked for Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller of treason in a new Wall Street Journal interview today.
The FBI employees involved are the two who exchanged text messages critical of the President during the presidential campaign in 2016. FBI Agent Peter Strzok exchanged a series of texts with Lisa Page, a bureau lawyer, shortly before Election Day 2016 that indicated that they had advance knowledge of a Wall Street Journal article before publication and are now facing accusations that the texts prove that they were leaking information to the media.
According to a report on the texts on The Hill, the exchange suggests that they were planning on pretending to run across the stories to share them with their colleagues without revealing their advance knowledge of them.
“Article is out, but hidden behind paywall so can’t read it,” Page texted Strzok on Oct. 24, 2016.
“Wsj? Boy that was fast,” Strzok texted back, using the initials of the famed financial newspaper. “Should I ‘find’ it and tell the team?”
“I can get it like I do every other article that hits any Google News alerts, seriously,” Strzok wrote, adding he didn’t want his team hearing about the article “from someone else.”
Once news of the texts was made public, Special Prosecutor Mueller immediately removed Strzok from his team investigating collusion with Russia. Page had already left her temporary assignment to the Special Counsel’s office before the texts were discovered. While FBI employees are obviously entitled to their individual political opinions, the appearance of bias can be deadly once any investigation reaches the prosecution stage.
Trump’s accusations of treason for the series of tweets contrasts sharply with his opinion of his namesake son’s meeting with Russian agents in Trump Tower which he sees as no problem whatsoever. Treason in Trump’s eyes consists of opposition to him or his policies.
Trump spent the majority of the interview speaking about North Korea, refusing at one point to comment on whether he’d ever spoken directly with Kim Jong Un. He also claimed that the renegotiation of the NAFTA trade agreement would eventually pay for his controversial border wall.