December 16, 2017

DONALD V. JUSTICE:

In 'highly unusual' move, DOJ secretly invited reporters to view texts sent by ousted FBI agents (Natasha Bertrand, Dec. 13, 2017, Business Insider)

The Justice Department invited a group of reporters to its offices on Tuesday night to view private text messages sent during the 2016 campaign by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, former investigators on the special counsel Robert Mueller's team, Business Insider has learned. [...]

It is "highly unusual" for the DOJ to release private correspondences that are the subject of an ongoing investigation to Congress, let alone to the press, a source on one of the congressional committees investigating Russia's election interference told Business Insider on Wednesday.

The source emphasized that none of the leaks came from Capitol Hill, which obtained the texts from the DOJ separately on Tuesday.

"It's appalling behavior by the department," said Matthew Miller, a former DOJ spokesman. "This is an ongoing investigation in which these employees have due-process rights, and the political leadership at DOJ has thrown them to the wolves so Rosenstein can get credit from House Republicans at his hearing today."

One source close to the process who requested anonymity to discuss internal DOJ deliberations said the texts were given to reporters in case they did not leak in time for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's public hearing on Wednesday morning.

"It is at least debatable whether it was appropriate to turn them over to the Hill in the middle of an ongoing investigation," Miller said. "Under no circumstances was it appropriate to leak them to the press."

Of course, the point was to get ahead of the story and leak them selectively, because in their entirety they're meaningless.

Posted by at December 16, 2017 2:51 PM

  

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