FBI agent Peter Strzok was apparently concerned over Obama White House comments downplaying the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016.
Statements made by then-White House press secretary Josh Earnest that the former secretary of state was not a target of the FBI investigation seemed to worry Strzok who was leading the probe, according to a new email obtained by Fox News.
“Below not helpful,” Strzok said, writing from his FBI Washington Field Office to FBI counterintelligence official Bill Priestap and colleague Robert Jones on Jan. 30, 2016. “Certainly the WH is going to do whatever it wants, but there is a line they need to hold with regard to the appearance of non-interference.”
Former President Obama had made comments similar to Earnest’s about the probe, telling “60 Minutes” in October 2015 that although Clinton had made a “mistake” with her private email server use, she did not endanger national security.
Obama also assured Fox News in April 2016 that Clinton would never “intentionally” put jeopardize the country and again, that national security had not been breached.
FIred FBI chief James Comey slammed Obama’s comments in his new book, saying they “jeopardized” the DOJ’s credibility.
Strzok referred to Obama’s remarks in his email, saying: “This coupled with the President’s ‘no harm to national security’ statement provide a couple of data points for senior execs if the issue ever comes up in discussion at the White House.”
The lead agent on the Clinton probe, Strzok was later removed from the Russia investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller after anti-Trump text messages were uncovered between him and fellow FBI official Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair.
According to Fox News:
The Strzok email regarding the Obama White House comments was sent a week-and-a-half after Fox News first reported that emails containing Top Secret (TS) and even more sensitive intelligence known as SAP (Special Access Programs) were found by a government watchdog on Clinton’s private server that she used for all government business as secretary of state.
Comey did not specifically address those emails in his new book “A Higher Loyalty.” However, on page 163, he writes, “In all, there were thirty-six email chains that discussed topics that were classified as ‘secret’ at the time.”
House Republicans named Strzok and Page in a letter to the Justice Department and FBI about their alleged “interference in the Hillary Clinton investigation regarding her use of a personal email server.” The letter, signed by 11 House Republicans, seeks a criminal investigation of those involved in the 2016 controversies, including Comey, Clinton, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Acting Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe as well as Strzok and Page.
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