New emails have been released showing that on the eve of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, top FBI officials were buzzing to each other.
The full extent of the communication among then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, then-Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap, then-agent Peter Strzok, and then-FBI attorney Lisa Page is limited by extensive redactions. (Strzok later became the FBI’s deputy assistant director.)
However, Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton was ready with an overall summary.
“These documents suggest that President Trump was targeted by the Comey FBI as soon as he stepped foot in the Oval Office,” Fitton said.
The documents were released in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request.
“And now we see how the Comey FBI was desperate to spin, through high-level leaks, its mishandling of the Clinton email investigation. And, in a continuing outrage, it should be noted that Wray’s FBI and Barr’s DOJ continue slow walk the release of thousands of Page-Strzok emails – which means the remaining 8,000 pages of records won’t be reviewed and released until 2021-2022!”
The email chain began on Jan. 19, 2017, with an email to Strzok by an assistant general counsel in the FBI’s National Security Law Branch.
“I’ll give Trisha/Baker a heads up too,” reads the unredacted piece of the message.
After two redacted emails, Strzok’s reply is shown.
“I briefed Bill this afternoon and he was trying without success to reach the DD [McCabe]. I will forward below to him as his [sic] changes the timeline. What’s your recommendation?” he wrote.
Amid more redactions, Priestap told Strzok, “Approved by tomorrow afternoon is the request. [Redacted] – please advise if I am missing something.”
After more redacted conversations, Strzok wrote, “Just talked with Bill. [Redacted]. Please relay above to WFO and [redacted] tonight, and keep me updated with plan for meet and results of same. Good luck.”
Strzok sent the full exchange to Page, with whom later investigations would reveal he was having an affair, saying, “Bill spoke with Andy. [Redacted.] Here we go again …”
The day after Trump’s inauguration, Strzok wrote to Priestap, “I heard from [redacted] about the WH CI briefing routed from [redacted]. I am angry that Jen did not at least cc: me, as my branch has pending investigative matters there, this brief may play into our investigative strategy, and I would like the ability to have visibility and provide thoughts/counsel to you in advance of the briefing. This is one of the reasons why I raised the issue of lanes/responsibilities that I did when you asked her to handle WH detailee interaction.”
Strzok was cited in documents released Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation into the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.