- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

A Fox News appearance by Rep. John Ratcliffe of Texas set social media ablaze Monday night with talk of a “secret society” at the FBI after President Trump’s election.

Mr. Ratcliffe, chair of House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, made the remark while appearing with Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha MacCallum” to discuss an ongoing review of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page.

“We know about this ‘insurance policy’ that was referenced in trying to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president,” Mr. Ratcliffe said. “We learned today about information that after in the immediate aftermath of his election that there may have been a secret society of folks within the Department of Justice and the FBI — to include Page and Strzok that would be working against him. I’m not saying that actually happened, but when folks speak in those terms, they need to come forward to explain the context with which they use those terms.”

The disclosure regarding special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election comes in the wake of another damaging revelation: the FBI says that roughly 50,000 texts between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were not preserved.

SEE ALSO: Trump: Missing FBI texts ‘one of the biggest stories in a long time’

“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Monday. “If we are successful, we will update the congressional committees immediately.”

The texts in question were sent between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, Mr. Sessions said.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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