A top FBI counterintelligence official expressed concern that there was “no big there there” in the Trump collusion investigation just days after the bureau formally opened an investigation into whether President Trump was acting as a foreign agent of Russia.
“You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there,” Peter Strzok, who then served as deputy chief of FBI counterintelligence, wrote to FBI lawyer Lisa Page on May 18, 2017.
The text message took on new significance Friday after The New York Times reported that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump after the May 9, 2017 firing of James Comey as FBI director.
It was already known that the FBI had opened an obstruction of justice investigation into Trump over Comey’s ouster, but the counterintelligence investigation had not been reported. Both components of the investigations were referred to Robert Mueller when he was appointed special counsel on May 17, 2017. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who issued a letter recommending Comey’s firing, likely approved the investigative angle. He has overseen the Mueller probe since its inception.