Judicial Watch announced today it received 345 pages of records from the Department of Justice that show FBI top officials scrambling to write a letter to Congress to supplement then-Director James Comey’s Senate testimony in an apparent attempt to muddle his message.
Judicial Watch obtained the records through a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed respond to a December 4, 2017 FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). Judicial Watch is seeking all communications between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page.
The emails were released in response to a May 21 court order by U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to the FBI to process 13,000 pages of records.
In an email thread starting at 6:34 a.m. on May 9, 2017, with the subject line “Comey’s Testimony on Huma Abedin Forwarding Emails Was Inaccurate – ProPublica” nearly a dozen top FBI officials scrambled to draft a letter to Congress about Comey’s May 3 Senate testimony.
This email thread was concerned with a May 8, 2017, ProPublica report stating that, “Comey’s most surprising revelation was that Huma Abedin — [Anthony] Weiner’s wife and a top Clinton deputy — had made ’a regular practice’ of forwarding ‘hundreds and thousands’ of Clinton messages to her husband, ‘some of which contain classified information.’ Comey testified that Abedin had done this so that the disgraced former congressman could print them out for her boss.… FBI officials have privately acknowledged that Comey misstated what Abedin did and what the FBI investigators found.”
After a flurry of emails, by 8:56 a.m. Comey’s chief of staff, Jim Rybicki, sent the group a draft letter for Congress, saying, “Below is a draft that has been reviewed by the Director. Please let me know your thoughts.” At 2:02PM, Asst. Director for Congressional Affairs, Greg Brower, asked his colleagues to review the latest iteration of the draft letter to the Senate.
Just “hours after” the FBI issued a letter muddling his testimony, Trump announced Comey’s firing.
In a March 24, 2017 email from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt to FBI Assistant Director for Public Affairs Michael Kortan, Schmidt offers the FBI information about Ambassador Kislyak allegedly setting up a meeting between Jared Kushner and a Russian banker. Michael Schmidt asks no questions of Kortan, instead only offering information:
Michael Schmidt emails Kortan: Mike: Wanted to flag you on something. Three of my colleagues are working on a story about the Russia investigation. They’re told that Jared Kushner is among the individuals who the F.B.I. is scrutinizing for their meetings with Russians. My colleagues were told that Ambassador Kislyak, after meeting Kushner and General Flynn in early December at Trump Tower, set up a meeting with Kushner and a Russian banker. Kushner ultimately met with the Russian banker. The banker worked for Alpha Bank. Thanks. Mike
In an April 10, 2017, email exchange between Strzok, Page and other redacted FBI officials with the subject line “NYT Last Shot,” the FBI appears to be given a preview of an upcoming article in The New York Times.
[Redacted] emails Strzok, Page and others: Pete/Lisa, The editing is nearing completion and we have one last shot to hear what the end result is. Do you have time later today or tomorrow that is convenient for a listening session? Likely by phone in Mike’s office.
In an email on April 26, 2017, ProPublica reporter Peter Elkind sent the FBI a “fact check” list of items in preparation for a story he was working on about James Comey and the Clinton email investigation. Elkind describes the list as, “a first small batch of straightforward details for fact-check purposes.” Elkind notes that his information showed that Comey had “ordered up files on about 30 previous cases where government had investigated mishandling of classified information.”
In response to Elkind’s questions, four top FBI officials, including Strzok, Page and Kortan were assembled as a “quorum” to discuss.
In a series of emails on April 27, 2017, an FBI official whose name was redacted states that a Politico reporter forwarded them a Judicial Watch press releasediscussing how an FBI court filing revealed the existence of a grand jury targeting Clinton. That official then forwarded it to Strzok, Page and other redacted officials in the Counterterrorism Division and Director’s Office.
The assistant general counsel in the National Security Law Branch responded, copying in E.W. Priestap, assistant director for Counterintelligence, but his response is entirely redacted.
Well, until they get under oath.
They (FBI leadership) have great ethics and professionalism… as long as they don’t have to choose between the United States and the deep state.
@Deplorable Me: The more we facts we see, the more criminal this looks. I doubt there will be any charges against Obama, but his vision of his legacy will be destroyed. He will throw many people under the bus. “I had no idea that this was happening!” As more facts come out, there is more of a chance for the left as it currently is, to be destroyed. Who will ever believe any of the current Democrats in the future? Only those who drank the kool aid.
Yet he is cited as wanting to know EVERYTHING. Much like the Benghazi hearings, it’s not like we didn’t learn anything from them; we learned, beyond any doubt, that Obama and Hillary were incompetent liars that subordinate everything, even American lives, to their own political fortunes. Likewise, if every investigation stopped today, we would know, without question, that Obama weaponized the IC, DOJ, IRS and FBI to serve his own personal political needs, Hillary did likewise, to the limits or her influence, there IS a deep state and it has been trying desperately to cover their seditious tracks since Trump won. Those who love and respect this country take notice and demand changes. Those who don’t and who cheer on the ends justifying any and all means, continue to support it.