Pence’s fmr. chief of staff responds to new texts suggesting FBI targeted him to infiltrate Trump transition team

Strzok and Page

Two days after speculation first hit the airwaves that disgraced FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page wanted to use him to infiltrate President-elect Trump’s transition team, Josh Pitcock issued a statement saying that he had no knowledge of what the two were talking about.

A report by investigative reporter Sara Carter found that GOP Senate leaders submitted a letter to Attorney General William Barr containing newly revealed texts between Strzok and Page suggesting efforts to spy on the transition team from within. Carter’s analysis surmises that former Mike Pence chief of staff Pitcock was a target for their infiltration plan.

Barr has said that he intends to examine whether the FBI’s 2016 surveillance of the Trump campaign and transition was legal.

The new intriguing texts show Strzok and Page wondering if the husband of “Katie” could be recruited to find officials on the Trump team who the two could “develop for potential relationships.” Carter found that the Katie referred to could be the wife of Pitcock, Katherine Seaman, who is currently an FBI employee and was an analyst working for Strzok’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private server crimes. Seaman recused herself from that work in the summer of 2016 when Trump and Pence accepted the Republican nomination.

Vice President Pence had a stern reaction to the ongoing rumors. His statement said, “I was deeply offended to learn that two disgraced FBI agents considered infiltrating our transition team by sending a counterintelligence agent to one of my very first intelligence briefings only 9 days after the election. This is an outrage and only underscores why we need to get to the bottom of how this investigation started in the first place. The American people have a right to what happened and if these two agents broke the law and ignored long-standing DOJ policies, they must be held accountable.”

Thursday on “Hannity,” President Trump stated that the messages are “very disconcerting.” He said that if “(Strzok and Page) are trying to infiltrate the administration, really, it’s a coup, it’s spying, it’s everything you can imagine. It’s a disgrace, and again, hopefully the attorney general will do what’s right, and I really believe he will.”

In Pitcock’s statement, he said that he had “no contact” with Strzok or Page and “took zero actions on their behalf.”

He also indicated there was “no infiltration through me or my wife. Any assertions or speculation to the contrary is unfounded, uninformed and 100% false.”

Former chief of staff Pitcock’s statement, courtesy Axios.

Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson sent the letter to Barr, formally asking him to include the issue in his campaign spying investigation. They wrote, “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. 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.”


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