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New text messages raise questions of fairness in Russia probe

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2013, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller is seated before President Barack Obama and FBI Director James Comey arrive at an installation ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington. A veteran FBI counterintelligence agent was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russian election meddling after the discovery of an exchange of text messages seen as potentially anti-President Donald Trump, a person familiar with the matter said Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

There’s been yet another twist to the Russia investigation with newly released text messages between FBI agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who were reportedly having an extramarital affair.

On March 16, 2016, Page texted that she “doesn’t believe" Trump is a serious candidate. On March 4, Strzok called him an idiot.

The issue for some here is that Strzok was also part of the FBI team looking into Hillary Clinton’s emails and later, played a key role in special counsel Robert Muller’s investigation.

Now President Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow is calling for a second special counsel to investigate some of the investigators.

“There’s a real credibility problem here and the agency needs to take corrective action to get this fixed I think it’s an embarrassment and puts the country at risk,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

Another concern for Sekulow is what he calls a conflict of interest with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

“In his capacity as a senior DOJ official he was meeting with Fusion GPS where his wife worked -- and he was doing this without notifying any officials at the Department of Justice,” Sekulow said.

Fusion GPS is the research firm behind the famous dossier put together by Christopher Steele, which Sekulow said may have served as a basis for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant used to spy on Trump officials.

These calls come as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the matter.

During the hearing Wednesday, Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, questioned Rosenstein:

"My question to you is, how can with a straight face can you say that this group of Democrat partisans are unbiased and will give President Trump a fair shake?"

Rod Rosenstein responded:

"Congressman, I think it's important to recognize that when we talk about political affiliation - that all demonstrates political affiliation - the issue of bias is something different.”

Democrats disagree with their Republican counterparts, saying it’s simply an attempt to change the subject.

“So far there’s been no credible or factual legal claim that anyone at the Department of Justice violate any law buy neglecting to bring charges against Hillary Clinton or by attempting to meet with Fusion GPS,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

For Trump’s legal team, it’s a matter of playing fair.

“The investigation has to go into it without any bias...equal justice under the law,” Sekuloaw said.


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