Judge in Flynn Case Had Personal Relationship With Anti-Trump FBI Official Peter Strzok

Ivan Pentchoukov
By Ivan Pentchoukov
March 16, 2018USshare
Judge in Flynn Case Had Personal Relationship With Anti-Trump FBI Official Peter Strzok
Peter Strzok (FBI)

The federal judge who presided over National Security Advisor Michael Flynn’s case when he entered his guilty plea had a personal relationship with an anti-Trump FBI official who investigated Flynn, according to a new batch of text messages.

The text messages, obtained by Fox News, are a part of a trove of communications between top FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that were sent between the time of of President Donald Trump’s transition into office and May 2017. The FBI briefly claimed that the messages were lost, but the DOJ recovered them using forensic tools.

U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2016. He recused himself from the Flynn case days after Flynn submitted the guilty plea. No reason for the recusal was made public, but the text messages point to a potential explanation.

“Rudy is on the FISC! Did you know that?” Page wrote to Strzok on July 25, 2016. “Just appointed two months ago.”

“I did,” Strzok replied. “We talked about it before and after. I need to get together with him.”

Strzok was the top counterintelligence official at the FBI so his work would include regular interaction with the FISC. A personal relationship between Strzok and Contreras would be problematic; Page and Strzok discussed the issue.

Page wrote that she couldn’t “imagine either one of you could talk about anything in detail meaningful enough to warrant recusal.”

“Standards for recusal are quite high. I just don’t think this poses an actual conflict,” Page added. “And he doesn’t know what you do?”

Strzok replied: “Generally he does know what I do. Not the level or scope or area. But he’s super thoughtful and rigorous about ethics and conflicts.”

Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI on Dec. 1 last year. On Dec. 2, news broke of text messages between Strzok and Page. Contreras resigned on Dec. 7 without an explanation.

“That explains why he recused himself,” former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Joe diGenova told Fox News. “He knew he was a friend of Strzok’s when the case came to him. He should allow Flynn to withdraw the guilty plea.”

The judge “never should have taken the case,” diGenova added, noting the timing of the guilty plea, news of the text messages, and the recusal.

“Contreras violated the canons of judicial ethics,” diGenova said. “If he knew Strzok was in charge of espionage, he never should have even gotten near it.”

Recommended Video: President Donald Trump’s Weekly Address—March 10, 2018

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