Cummings and Nadler Issue Statement After GOP Leaks and Mischaracterizes Documents—Again
Washington, D.C. (Sept. 11, 2018)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Ranking Member of the Committee on the Judiciary, issued the following statement in response to the leaked portions of texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that were mischaracterized by Republican House Members and then repeated by President Donald Trump:
“Republicans in Congress repeatedly cherry-pick, mischaracterize, and then leak bits and pieces of documents to fabricate conspiracy theories to protect President Trump, and this is just the latest example. 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. 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.”
- Rep. Mark Meadows claims that texts about a “media leak strategy” refer to a strategy to leak information to the media. In fact, other text messages from the same day show that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were discussing a meeting about proposed changes to the Department of Justice’s “media leak regs” in order to stop leaks.
- In a message earlier that same day, Mr. Strzok texted Ms. Page: “DoJ getting all political and about to blown (sic) up the media leak regs and turn this into a circus.”
- In another text message that same day, Mr. Strzok referenced his concerns about the Department changing the media leak regulations and proposing that they discuss the issue with their superiors—Deputy Director Andy McCabe and Director James Comey: “if they are going to try to blow up the regs we need to get that to andy and d soonest.”
- Later that same day, the reference to the “media leak strategy” referred to the strategy, meetings, and discussions about these regulations.
- Rep. Meadows also claims that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were texting about a job “well done,” referring to two derogatory articles about Carter Page.
- In fact, the “well done” reference comes in a string of texts after the text “Article is out!,” and appears to refer to a New York Times profile on Jim Comey published on April 22—the same day the text message was sent—not to articles about Carter Page published ten days earlier.