Charging that FBI agent Peter Strzok repeatedly protected Hillary Clinton from prosecution – while allegedly using an unverified “dossier” to get a court warrant to spy on then-candidate Donald Trump – Washington watchdog Judicial Watch on Thursday sued to obtain the details about his demotion from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators.
“Strzok reportedly oversaw the FBI’s intrerviews of former National Security Adviser General Michael Flynn; changed former FBI Director James Comey’s language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her illicit email server from ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless;’ played a lead role in the FBI’s interview of Clinton and is suspected of being responsible for using the unverified dossier to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on President Trump’s campaign,” Judicial Watch explained on Thursday.
But the FBI has stonewalled a Freedom of Information Act request for information about his demotion from a team that already was replete with financial donors to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“It is disturbing the FBI has stonewalled our request about the Mr. Strzok demotion for four months,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “One can only conclude the FBI and Justice Department (including Mr. Mueller’s operation) wanted to hide the truth about how Strzok’s and Page’s political biases and misconduct have compromised both the Clinton email and Russia collusion investigations.”
“Page” refers to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe “and with whom Strzok was carrying on an extramarital affair,” Judicial Watch reported.
They exchanged “text messages during the Clinton investigation and campaign season in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.”
One report, from the New York Times, reported that Mueller removed Strzok from the investigation.
The Times confirmed, “he helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton had mishandled classified information … and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.”
His personal opinion, in text messages, repeatedly belittled Trump, and suggested he could not be president.
Those communications apparently had been uncovered during an investigation by the DOJ inspector general into allegations there were “communications between certain individuals.”
Judicial Watch confirmed its FOIA lawsuit against the FBI seeks the records about the removal and reassignment of Strzok.
He not only was on Mueller’s team, he also was the FBI’s second in command of counterintelligence and chief of the Hillary Clinton investigation.
The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia after the FBI failed to respond to an Aug. 17, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation (No. 1:17-cv-02682)), the organization said.
It seeks: All records regarding the assignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok to the special counsel’s investigation led by former Director Robert Mueller, all records related to the reassignment of FBI Supervisor Peter Strzok from the special counsel’s investigation to another position within the FBI, and all SF-50 and/or SF-52 employment forms, as well as all related records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the FBI and any other individual or entity.”
The text messages Strzok sent about Hillary Clinton and President Trump also are part of another Judicial Watch lawsuit, the organization said. They have yet to be produced by the FBI.