He did “harbor reservations about Comey making a public announcement just days before the election.”
CNN has reported that FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the man who exchanged anti-Trump texts with an FBI lawyer, co-authored the letter from former FBI Director James Comey that reopened the investigation into failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s emails.
I have seen people on the left continue with the narrative that Comey cost Hillary the election because of this letter, which goes to show how out of touch they remain. Hillary lost because she sucked, a horrible candidate, and a horrible person.
Strzok, who co-wrote what appears to be the first draft that formed the basis of the letter Comey sent to Congress, also supported reopening the Clinton investigation once the emails were discovered on disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop, according to a source familiar with Strzok’s thinking. The day after Strzok sent his draft to his colleagues, Comey released the letter to Congress, reigniting the email controversy in the final days of the campaign.
Strzok did, however, harbor reservations about Comey making a public announcement just days before the election and sent a text message to that effect, two sources said. And Strzok’s text messages provided to Congress show him grappling with the fallout of making the letter public, according to a CNN review of his texts.
This latest news appears to show a different side of Strzok, but two sources also told CNN that the agent did “harbor reservations about Comey making a public announcement just days before the election and sent a text message to that effect.”
In an October 27, 2016, email the FBI provided to congressional investigators, Strzok informs his colleagues he and another FBI agent had drafted “the first cut” of the letter notifying Congress of the decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation. His colleagues then exchanged two additional emails referencing further comments and changes to Strzok’s initial draft, which was ultimately forwarded to Comey by then-FBI chief of staff James Rybicki.
One of the drafts, reviewed by CNN, was recently produced to Congress with the email chain. But it is unclear whether that draft was the initial copy written by Strzok or one incorporating others’ edits. That draft states that the FBI had an “obligation to take appropriate investigative steps to review” the newly discovered emails on Weiner’s laptop.
The next day, on October, 28, 2016, Comey sent the final letter to Congress, editing out the line that he had an “obligation” to take steps to review. Instead, new language was added saying that Comey had been briefed by his team “yesterday” and that he “agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps.”
The key line noting that the “FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” appears in both the final version and the earlier draft reviewed by CNN.
It’s quite a change from a previous story about Strzok, who was the #2 on the Hillary investigation. Strzok has come under fire from the GOP and those on the right for the anti-Trump texts he exchanged with his mistress FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Special Counsel Robert Mueller let Strzok go from the investigation this summer due to the text messages.
The FBI and DOJ found themselves in hot water a few weeks ago when officials said they did not preserve five months worth of texts between Strzok and Page. Miraculously, a few days later, officials located the texts!
Last month, reports revealed that the agent softened the language in the letter that exonerated Hillary in July 2016:
The shift from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” which may appear pedestrian at first glance, reflected a decision by the FBI that could have had potentially significant legal implications, as the federal law governing the mishandling of classified material establishes criminal penalties for “gross negligence.”
CNN has also learned that Strzok was the FBI official who signed the document officially opening an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, according to sources familiar with the matter. As the No. 2 official in counterintelligence, Strzok was considered to be one of the bureau’s top experts on Russia.
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