Newly uncovered evidence suggests that disgraced former FBI special agent Peter Strzok and his paramour, former disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page, attempted in 2016 to recruit then-Trump transition member Josh Pitcock, who later went on to serve as Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff through early 2017, to help them in their surveillance efforts of President Donald Trump and his transition team.
Earlier this month Attorney General Bill Barr revealed to Congress that he intends to examine the FBI’s 2016 election surveillance efforts to determine whether the bureau’s indisputable surveillance of Trump’s election campaign and transition team officials had been on the up and up.
In a bid to assist Barr in his examination, this week two GOP Senate leaders submitted a letter to the AG that contained previously unrevealed texts from Strzok and Page.
“[I]n the course of our oversight work we have reviewed certain text messages that may show potential attempts by the FBI to conduct surveillance of President-elect Trump’s transition team,” Senate Finance Committee chairman Sen. Charles Grassley and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chair Sen. Ron Johnson wrote in their letter to Barr.
Senator Grassley letter expressing concern about FBI lovers’ texts suggesting FBI spying on Trump transition: https://t.co/e7Sj5HtT1S
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) April 26, 2019
In these texts from November 2016, Strzok and Page can be seen discussing recruiting the husband of someone named “Katie” to determine whether there were any officials within Trump’s transition team that the duo could “develop for potential relationships.”
While the identity of “Katie” isn’t revealed in the texts, renowned investigative reporter Sara Carter suspects that she may be Katherine Seaman, the wife of Pitcock.
According to Carter’s sources, Seaman worked “as an analyst for Strzok on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server” up until Trump and Pence accepted the GOP nomination in the summer of 2016. Then she reportedly recused herself from the investigation.
Given this finding, it seems as if Strzok and Page’s texts had therefore referred to the possibility of recruiting Seaman’s husband to help them surveil then-President-elect Trump’s transition team.
A screenshot of the relevant texts may be seen below, courtesy Carter:
“The nature of these communications, and the precise purpose of any attempts to ‘develop relationships’ with Trump or Pence transition team staff are not immediately clear,” Grassley and Johnson wrote in their letter to Barr. “Were these efforts done to gain better communication between the respective parties, or were the briefings used as intelligence gathering operations?”
“Further, did any such surveillance activities continue beyond the inauguration, and in the event they did, were those activities subject to proper predication? Any improper FBI surveillance activities that were conducted before or after the 2016 election must be brought to light and properly addressed.”
Speaking Thursday evening on Fox News’ “Hannity” about these newly discovered texts, the president expressed dismay, describing the discovery as “disconcerting.”
“They were going hog wild to find something about the administration, which obviously wasn’t there. … [T]hese were the two that talked about the insurance policy just in case Hillary loses. If she loses, we’ve got an insurance policy. Well, that was the insurance policy,” he said.
“Now she lost, and now they are trying to infiltrate the administration to — really, it’s a coup. It’s spying. It’s everything you can imagine. It’s hard to believe this is happening in in our country.”
Other text messages between Strzok and Page show that, prior to the 2016 presidential election, the two discussed setting up an “insurance policy” against Trump’s potential victory.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in [then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s] office that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok wrote on Aug. 15, 2016.
Listen to Trump’s discussion with host Sean Hannity below:
“It’s a disgrace, and again, hopefully the attorney general will do what’s right, and I really believe he will,” the president added.
The AG made it clear in statements made to the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier this month that he believes “spying did occur” on Trump’s campaign and transition team — and that he intends to ensure that the spying was properly predicated and performed within the confines of the law.
“I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016 and a lot has already been investigated…. by the office of the Inspector General, but one of the things I want to do is pull together all the information from the various investigations that have gone on, including on the Hill and in the Department,” he said.
“[T]he question is whether it was predicated – adequately predicated,” he added when pressed by Democrats over why he feels an investigation is necessary (they disagree). “I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane.”
Because an investigation could potentially lead back to former President Barack Hussein Obama, Democrats have been loathe to even admit that surveillance of Trump had occurred.
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