- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 23, 2018

FBI agent Peter Strzok had doubts about special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, said Sen. Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican.

Speaking with Milwaukee talk show host Jay Weber, Mr. Johnson revealed one of the text message exchanges Mr. Strzok sent fellow FBI agent and lover, Lisa Page. In the text, Mr. Strzok appears to express doubt that the Mueller investigation will find anything incriminating and his reluctance to join the probe.

“Strzok says, quote, ‘You and I both know the odds are nothing,’” Mr. Johnson said. “If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concerned there’s no big there there.’”

Mr. Johnson said the text was sent on May 19, 2017, two days after Mr. Mueller was appointed as special counsel.

“He doesn’t really want to join [the Mueller investigation] because his gut sense is there’s no big there there,” Mr. Johnson told Mr. Weber.

The two FBI agents eventually did join Mr. Mueller’s team. Ms. Page left the investigation sometime last summer, while Mr. Strzok was removed after several texts blasting President Donald Trump became public.

SEE ALSO: James Comey, Jeff Sessions grilled by Robert Mueller’s team in Russia probe

In the texts, Mr. Strzok called the president “an idiot” and cryptically referred to having an insurance policy in case he was elected.

On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the couple exchanged more than 50,000 texts. But that number might be higher because the FBI failed to preserve five months’ worth of texts between the agents.

“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,” Mr. Sessions said. “If we are successful, we will update the congressional committees immediately.”

The missing texts range between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, Mr. Sessions said. That spans a critical period between the start of Mr. Trump’s transition into the White House and the start of the Mueller investigation.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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