The Justice Department says that it did not authorize the early release of anti-Trump text messages between two FBI officials to the media.
In a statement to Politico, Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores said that text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were given to certain members of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein publicly testified before the committee on Wednesday.
Flores said the same information was later shared with the media, however, some reporters had already obtained the texts.
“As we understand now, some members of the media had already received copies of the texts before that — but those disclosures were not authorized by the department,” Flores said.
Fox News first reported on the messages on Dec. 6, claiming that more than 10,000 texts between the two officials had been found and were being reviewed. The article raised questions about possible anti-Trump bias in the special counsel investigation over messages that criticized Trump.
More than 300 text messages between senior FBI counterintelligence agent Strzok — who was assigned to the Bureau’s investigation into Russian meddling in the U.S. election — and in-house attorney Page were provided to Congress after they were provided to the media.
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