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What is the point of all this?
The text messages between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are part of the larger story usually called Spygate or Russiagate. The 30,000-foot-view of the story is this: during the 2016 campaign season, then-candidate Trump was widely accused of being a stooge of the Kremlin and colluding or conspiring with Russia to “steal" the US election. This accusation actually kicked into overdrive AFTER he was elected with the issuance of official government assessments accusing him of such. However, thanks to a few intrepid patriots, that accusation has been proven to be a lie and now the underlying corruption network which allowed that lie to be propogated and spread is being exposed.
How do these text messages relate to Spygate?
Through a potent brew of of ambition, bureaucratic competence, political zeal and divine timing, Strzok and Page seems have stumbled straight into the center of this mess. That's not to say they are the core conspirators and in fact, they might not be even close to that. However, their text messages deserve much attention because they provide connective tissue between many disparate pieces of this story. Using these messages, we can place important events in their proper context; essentially they provide continuous narration of the events from the point of view of direct participants.
Understand that this story is a huge puzzle. We have been given some pieces already and seem to have put them together but there are so many holes yet to be filled. Simply by organizing the mountains of available information we can make startling discoveries and advance the story. Through careful analysis, perhaps we can actually machete through this forest of darkness and mirrors, put the puzzle together, and finally get to the truth of what happened.
What are the sources of this information?
On the left hand side of the search page, there is a section where you can filter by "batch." Here is a description of each of the "batch" sources in that list:
Senator Ron Johnson has played a key role in uncovering these text messages. The document he released, labeled "Appendix C", accounts for 90% of the texts messages we currently have. That Appendix C document can be subdivided into three different parts and the last part (pages 120 through 502 of the PDF) is what I'm calling batch "Ron Johnson." Within that batch, there are inconsistencies in formatting and footer labeling, so clearly DOJ produced a few date ranges separately and glued them together but overall, this batch contains the most complete picture we have.
This batch is labeled DCNF for "Daily Caller News Foundation" who exclusively published a PDF of recovered text messages in this article. This batch contains texts that don't appear anywhere else and are from a date range (Dec. 16, 2016 through May 23, 2017) that was excluded from previous releases.
The texts of this batch also come from the document called labeled "Appendix C." If you split Appendix C into three parts as I mentioned above, this one would be part two (pages 29 through 118 of the PDF). This batch contains a lot of overlap with the "Ron Johnson" batch but I have removed duplicative messages from the search database for clarity. I'm referring to this batch as "House Intel" because I believe the House Intelligence Committee was the first to request and obtain these texts.
The famous 600-page Horowitz report contained many juicy insights and it also included a few text messages that hadn't been previously released. The most notable one being the "We'll stop it" text. It also contained an exchange about the Bob Woodward book "All the President's Men" that wasn't previously released.
An article published by Fox News on Sept 12, 2018 decribes a "new" batch of texts that were delivered to congress. The date range on these seem to be the same as the date range on the "DCNF" batch (Dec. 16, 2016 through May 23, 2017) so these appear to have been recovered after the first round had already been released. The full document has not been published in it's entirety. We have only seen drips through new articles, as seen below. The messages published by Fox are likely leaked from GOP congresspeople and sells their perspective.
A CNN Article with Laura Jarrett and Manu Raju on the byline, dated September 14, 2018 also revealed interesting new text messages. These are likely from on the same document delievered to congress as described in the "Brooke Singman" release but these are from the Democratic perspective.
This batch is apparently based on the same document described in the above two batches. But the texts are different from those two. They were published in this ABC News Article by reporter Mike Levine on Sept 13, 2018.
On Sept 11, 2018, Mark Meadows sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and in it he revealed two previously unknown texts. Again this seems to stem from the same document as the above three batches.
These batch names might not be as descriptive as they could be. Feel free to reach out if you have an idea to better name these batches. The names should be specific enough to identify the exact release while still being compact.
Are there plans to expand this tool?
There are quite a few ways this site can be expanded in a useful way. For example:
Show messages in a familiar "text" format
While seeing the texts as they were originally published is important, with all the little clues you can pick up from the different colored redactions, partially concealed letters, etc, it's also difficult to follow the conversation sometimes with all the strange characters. Showing these texts in a format that we are all familiar with, emojis and all, might help. This work has already been started but needs refining before it's released.
Integrate overall timeline
Ultimately the goal here is to tell the story. Placing the texts side by side with an overall timeline of events would show the correlation between events. How to implement this feature needs consideration because there is still a lot of uncertainty. And adding too many events would only create MORE confusion. Curating a solid timeline is the first step. And how to weave them together is the second.
Use pop ups for names
These texts contain so many names. Some are recognizable (Comey, Clapper, Brennan) and some are obscure (Bowdich, Castor, Evanina). Having tool tips or pop ups when hovering over these names would at least bring some clarity.
Integrate organization charts
The FBI is a bureaucracy and Strzok and Page often talk about promotions, hirings and firings. To understand what they mean, you need an organiztion chart handy. Again, this work has been started but it needs to be refined and integrated into the site in a way that makes sense.
Make it easier to navigate dates
With so many texts over a wide date range (almost two years), navigating to what you want to see becomes difficult. A better system is needed to scroll to specific dates.
If you have the desire and expertise to help develop any of these features, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why are some of the dates on this site different from the dates in the source documents?
The Horowitz report revealed a critical piece of information, hidden in a footnote. The dates and times in the Appendix C release are standardized to Greenwich Mean Time. So a conversion is needed to view these messages in Eastern Standard Time, the timezone of Washington DC. The texts on this site have all been converted to EST.