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The Coach’s Team (TCT) offers the best in conservative essays along with articles taken from various internet sites. The victory of Donald Trump has provided a God-sent opportunity to reverse the years of willful damage done our nation by Barack Hussein Obama.
Sunday, March 18, 2018
From Strzok to Contreras [updated]
The following article appeared in
Powerline on March 17th
Judge Rudolph Contreras has served as
a judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia since
2012. In 2016 Chief Justice Roberts appointed him to serve on the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Judge Contreras was randomly assigned
the case brought against former Trump administration National Security Adviser
Michael Flynn by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Four Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court judges authorized the original FISA warrant on Carter Page
or authorized its renewal. We do not know if Judge Contreras was one of them.
Late last year Judge Contreras
presided over the hearing in which Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to making false
statements to the FBI. In his plea Flynn admitted that he lied to FBI agents
about his interactions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the
transition and lied to the Justice Department about his lobbying dealings
related to Turkey. The plea documents are posted online here.
Flynn agreed to cooperate with Mueller and has yet to be sentenced.
Following the plea hearing Judge
Contreras recused himself from Flynn’s case. The case has now been reassigned
to Judge Emmet Sullivan Judge Sullivan has
ordered Mueller’s team to produce exculpatory evidence to Flynn. The
production of such evidence is required before a defendant goes to trial, not
after he pleads guilty.
The reason for Judge Sullivan’s order
is a mystery, but it’s not the only one. Judge Contreras has not revealed the
basis of his recusal from Flynn’s case. I have wondered how Judge Contreras
could have undertaken it and presided over the plea hearing if he determined
within a matter of days following the plea hearing that he shouldn’t or
couldn’t continue to sit on it. What is going on? We don’t yet know.
We have just learned, however,
courtesy of previously undisclosed text messages between the FBI’s infamous
lovers that Judge Contreras is a friend of former senior FBI
counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok. Strzok handled both the fake Clinton
email investigation and the investigation of the Trump team. Indeed, Strzok was
one of the FBI officers who conducted the interview with Flynn leading to the
charge brought against him.
The newly disclosed text messages
show Strzok and Page arranging to meet socially with Judge Contreras for
unspecified purposes related to Strzok’s work. Mollie Hemingway has the story here,
Chuck Ross here,
Sara Carter here.
The circumstances surrounding the
disclosure of the text messages have a guilty appearance. The text messages
were withheld from Congress by production in a form that concealed them. Mollie
Hemingway puts it this way: “The text messages that show Page and Strzok conspiring
to meet with Contreras were originally hidden from Congress. In records
provided by DOJ to Congress, the exchanges referencing Contreras, and plans to
meet with him under the guise of a cocktail party, were completely redacted by
federal law enforcement officials. The exchanges obtained by The Federalist
include information that was never turned over to Congress.”
I take it that the messages were
turned over to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who
discovered the existence of the Strzok-Page text messages in the first place.
Sara Carter attributes yesterday’s disclosure of the texts bearing on Judge
Contreras to House Oversight Committee staff: “Investigators working with Rep.
Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Rep. Mark Meadows, both with the House Oversight
Committee, discovered the text messages during their ongoing investigation into
the FBI’s handling of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion investigation, the
Congressional members told this reporter.”
Strzok and Page
Carter explains: “Under rules established
by DOJ officials, congressional investigators could only review the
less-redacted version of the pairs’ text messages at DOJ headquarters and only
the highly redacted version of the texts was allowed to be removed during the
ongoing process, they said.” All the reports state that Horowitz’s
investigation has collected 1.2 million documents, of which the House Oversight
Committee has only received 3,162 “unique documents.”
Perhaps there is an innocent
explanation for the hiding of the text messages from Congress. They appear to
derive from Horowitz’s work. Under the circumstances, however, I think it would
be a mistake to accord the FBI or the Department of Justice the benefit of the
UPDATE: A reader urges that we not
overlook this important point:
I think there is an
important aspect to the most recent text messages that is being overlooked.
Here is the critical portion of the text exchange
“[REDACTED] suggested a
social setting with others would probably be better than a one on one meeting,”
Strzok told Page. “I’m sorry, I’m just going to have to invite you to that
‘“Have to come up with
some other work people cover for action,” Strzok added.
“Why more?” Page
responded. “Six is a perfectly fine dinner party.”
This is not just Strzok
and Page discussing meeting Contreras socially, “REDACTED” is also involved.
Who is REDACTED? It does not take a rocket scientist to narrow down the likely
possibilities. #1 on the list is Andrew McCabe. We already know that “Andy” is
into insurance policies. Other possibilities include Comey, Bill Priestap and
The reader concludes that “an
important aspect of there being another person involved in these discussions”
is the revelation of a systemic issue within the FBI and the Department of Justice.
It is an issue that obviously extends beyond “a lone rogue cop and his