GOP senator releases additional messages from FBI agent removed from Mueller probe

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow House panel advances DHS cyber vulnerabilities bills MORE (R-Wis.) on Tuesday shared additional text messages sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russia probe MORE’s team last summer over anti-Trump text messages he sent during the presidential race.

During an appearance on a Milwaukee radio show, Johnson read some of the texts exchanged between between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and called for the FBI to track down five months worth of missing messages between the two.

The newly released messages were sent two days after Mueller was appointed to investigate Russian election meddling.

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Strzok, who was having an affair with Page, told Page in the newly released text messages that he was torn about whether to join Mueller’s team or take his career in another direction. He referred to it as “maybe the most important case of our lives.”

Page, however, said multiple times she didn’t think Strzok should join the investigation.

“You shouldn’t take this on. I promise you, I would tell you if you should,” she wrote. 

Strzok later said he feels he has “a sense of unfinished business."

“Now I need to fix and finish it," he wrote.

However, Strzok expressed skepticism about whether the case would uncover any wrongdoing.

“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,” Strzok wrote.

The FBI notified lawmakers late last week that it was unable to preserve text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page.

Messages sent between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, were not maintained because of issues with many of the mobile phones given to agents. The FBI did not provide a specific number of texts that were missing.

Johnson wrote to the FBI over the weekend asking for an explanation of the missing messages.

On Tuesday, Johnson said the new messages raise the stakes on recovering the missing messages.

“The correct reaction is we need to see the five months of missing texts, because, who knows,” Johnson said. “Again, texts between two people having an extra-marital affair, and they’re completely unguarded in their communication. And so we’re getting insight into exactly what’s happening inside the FBI at the highest levels.”

Strzok, who also worked on the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton: FBI investigation into Kavanaugh could be done quickly Hillary Clinton urges Americans to 'check and reject' Trump's 'authoritarian tendencies' by voting in midterms EXCLUSIVE: Trump says exposing ‘corrupt’ FBI probe could be ‘crowning achievement’ of presidency MORE’s use of a private email server, was removed last summer from Mueller’s probe into Russia's election meddling, including possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, after it was discovered he and Page exchanged anti-Trump messages. 

Several Republicans have used Strzok to suggest Mueller’s investigation is biased against the president. Trump himself has called Mueller's investigation a "witch hunt."

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsSessions: DOJ concerned about suppression of free speech on college campuses Faith communities are mobilizing against Trump’s family separation policy Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe lands book deal MORE on Monday announced the Justice Department will investigate the missing messages.