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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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