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Newly declassified text messages from former FBI agent Peter Strzok suggest that the FBI began investigating then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign before the Crossfire Hurricane investigation was opened.

While the FBI claims that investigations into Trump’s campaign began with the opening of Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, communications between Strzok and his alleged mistress, FBI special counsel Lisa Page, show that the agent asked Page to discuss “[o]ur open C[counter-]I[ntelligence] investigations relating to Trump’s Russian connections” with him on July 28, 2016.

Corporate media such as the New York Times suggested that there was no evidence that agents like Strzok were “eager to investigate Mr. Trump’s campaign” and that it was former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos’s comments that sparked the investigation.

Former FBI Director James Comey  denied knowledge of any investigation until “sometime towards the end of September 2016.”

Previously declassified communications from Strzok, however, show the FBI employees’ strong dislike and criticism of Trump as a presidential candidate. In a string of 2016 messages, just weeks after the formal investigation was opened, Page asked Strzok, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” to which he replied: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

Strzok was told via text in December of 2016 that the DOJ’s Office of Intelligence, “made it clear [REDACTED] would not support even our discussions let alone a[] [FISA] app” relating to Papadopoulos.

Other text messages released by Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, on Thursday show more information related to the FBI’s investigation into now-disproven Russian collusion by the Trump campaign as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server very early into the investigations.

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In another text from September of 2016, Strzok was informed that allegations that a Trump organization server was secretly communicating with Russian agents are “no longer pointing to any active mail server.”

Strzok also knew that there were “27 confirmed classified TOTAL (26 to ClintonEmail, 1 to Yahoo): -6 of the 27 were SECRET then (4 of which remain SECRET now and 2 of which are CONFIDENTIAL) – 21 of the 27 were CONFIDENTIAL then (16 of which remain CONFIDENTIAL now and 5 of which are UNCLASS or FOUO)” on Clinton’s private email server.

In addition to stoking the investigation into Russian collusion, Strzok is also responsible for reopening a criminal counterintelligence investigation into former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn even though an FBI memorandum previously closed the case after “no derogatory information was identified in FBI holdings.”

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.



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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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Son of prominent conservative leader Bozell arrested in connection with Capitol siege

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Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of conservative leader L. Brent Bozell III, is facing federal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 breech of the U.S. Capitol.

Bozell is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, according to a federal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

The official affidavit includes photos and videos that appear to show Bozell inside of the U.S. Capitol Building, including the Senate chambers.

At least one photo shows Bozell wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with a logo for a Christian school at which he once coached girls basketball, according to the Huffington Post.

The FBI obtained a photo of him posing with a student of a school, in Hershey, Pa.

His father founder, who founded the Media Research Center and other conservative groups, has condemned the riots, saying, “You can never countenance police being attacked. You cannot countenance our national capitol being breached like this. … I think it is absolutely wrong,” according to NewsBusters.

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Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

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Former President Trump on Wednesday afternoon praised the career of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who has died of cancer.

“He loved his country, and he loved his fans,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “He is a legend.”

The interview was Trump’s first since the conclusion of his Senate impeachment trial last week.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced her husband’s death earlier in the day on his radio show. He had been diagnosed about a year ago with Stage-IV lung cancer. He was 70.

The president also said he had a personal friendship with Limbaugh, who was an early supporter of his 2016 presidential bid and who, like Trump, thought the president won reelection in 2020.

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Trump also pointed out that Limbaugh was a provocateur in his views about conservative politics that often sparked backlash from liberals and other critics. 

Trump last year in his State of the Union address awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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