The Justice Department Owes Us Answers About Those Texts They Released

Richard Ellis via ZUMA

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We all know that FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page don’t think much of Donald Trump. This is because the Justice Department, for reasons they still haven’t explained, decided to release a whole bunch of private texts they sent to each other during the 2016 campaign season. Republicans have been making endless hay of this to argue that it contaminates the entire Mueller investigation.

But was it only Trump the pair disdained? Not at all. The Wall Street Journal’s Del Quentin Wilber has done us all the favor of reading through the texts and highlighting the ones that refer to politicians. It turns out that Strzok and Page, like many of us, pretty much hate them all. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Congress: “i LOATHE congress.”
John Kasich: “He’s the only sensible man up there.”
Mitch McConnell: “always reminds me of a turtle.”
Martin O’Malley: “is a freakshow.”
The Republican convention: “Duck Dynasty now Scott Baio? Ridiculous.” “Charles in Charge?! That’s the best they can do?! Lmfao.”
Bernie Sanders: “Made me want to key the car.” “He’s an idiot like Trump.”
Jeff Sessions: “My god.” “Which is the f-ed uppedness of it.”
Roger Stone: “is horrible.”
Donald Trump: “OMG he’s an idiot.” “Trump is a fucking idiot.”

In other words, they’d watch the debates and dump on everyone, a scene repeated in millions of households all over the country. The only difference is that most of us get to keep our cynical remarks to ourselves.

I’m sure glad I don’t work for someone who can decide to release all my texts to the public just for the hell of it. The Justice Department really owes us all an explanation of who decided to release these texts and why it was done in this case.

UPDATE: It was someone in the Justice Department who released the text messages, not the FBI. I’ve corrected the text.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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