NEW YORK — Former FBI employees Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, the once romantically-linked duo infamous for their anti-Trump text messages, conducted the initial agency review of disgraced ex-FBI chief James Comey’s memos to determine whether the documents contained any potentially classified information.
Working on the initial classification review with Page and Strzok was another member of Comey’s inner circle, James A. Baker, the former FBI general counsel.
Those details were contained inside the report released last Thursday by the Justice Department’s inspector-general.
The IG report related that Strzok characterized himself, Page, Baker, and the Unit Chief of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Law Unit in the FBI’s Office of General Counsel as a “logical subset to sit and go through” Comey’s memos memorializing his conversations with Trump to determine classification.
Strzok told the FBI that it made sense that this team conducted the initial classification review because the members had a lot of “history and experience of working investigations relating to … the disclosure of classified information,” including the FBI’s Clinton email investigation.
That would be the same Clinton email investigation that became the subject of a separate 500-plus page IG report in June 2018 that was highly critical of actions taken by Comey and his team.
The IG report described an extraordinary system of communication set up between Page and former deputy director Andrew McCabe that bypassed the ordinary chain of command to communicate important information about the agency’s probe of Clinton’s email server. The method of communication involved Strzok, who was romantically involved with Page, sending information on the Clinton probe to McCabe through Page, the previous IG report found.