Two Senate committee chairmen say text messages between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page may be evidence the bureau spied on Trump campaign officials after the election.
In a letter sent Thursday to Attorney General William P. Barr, Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republican, say they have uncovered texts that may point to spying on campaign staff during the transition.
The letter highlights a series of texts between Mr. Strzok and his paramour, Ms. Page ahead of an upcoming FBI briefing with the Trump transition team. The pair appears to discuss using the meeting to develop relationships and gather information about transition officials.
At one point, the bureau officials appear to discuss bringing a confidential informant or “CI guy” into the meeting to assess the “demeanor” of unnamed individuals. It is unclear if the alleged informant attended the meeting.
Another text exchange floats the idea of bringing someone into the meeting to determine if Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page can develop “potential relationships” with transition team members.
“If Katie’s husband is there, he can see if there are people we can develop for potential relationships,” Mr. Strzok wrote, although Katie was not identified further.
“Were these efforts done to gain better communication between the respective parties, or were the briefings used as intelligence gathering operations?” the senators wrote. “Any improper FBI surveillance activities that were conducted before or after the 2016 election must be brought to light and properly addressed.”
The senators disclosed the texts in a letter asking for an update into Mr. Barr’s review of allegations the FBI spied on members of the Trump campaign.
Mr. Strzok was initially a part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating potential collusion between the Russian government. He was removed after politically laced, anti-Trump text messages surfaced.
Mr. Strzok was also the lead investigator into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Ms. Page was also, briefly, a member of Mr. Mueller’s team but left for unknown reasons.
The pair are no longer employed by the FBI.