Emails show FBI investigated Trump’s tweets about Obama spying on him

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Hundreds of pages of emails obtained by Judicial Watch show that the FBI investigated President Trump’s tweets critical of the agency and of the Obama administration spying on him.

The conservative watchdog group announced that 323 pages of emails between former FBI official Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page were released stemming from their January 2018 Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. The documents include a message from Strzok to other FBI officials in 2017 about the president’s tweets.

(Image: C-SPAN screenshot)

“These astonishing emails, which have been hidden for years, show the Comey FBI was investigating President Trump over his critical tweets of the agency and Obama’s spying abuse and misconduct,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a press release. “These emails also show that Comey was intimately involved with illegal and dishonest FISA spy op against President Trump. Where is Durham?”

Strzok’s March 18, 2017 email targeting Trump’s tweets was sent to Page, Jon Moffa and then-Asst. Director for the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap.

“Sending the tweets in question along with posting times. Doing some research, time stamping in Twitter can be glitchy … [T]he tweet times below were all -3 hours from east coast time, which I adjusted (ie, the first listed as 3:35am). I think I recall reporting at the time described the tweets as occurring around 630, not 330.”

 

The email included Trump’s tweets about being wiretapped and questioning whether it was “legal” for then-President Obama to have allowed spying on his presidential campaign. The tweets were all from March 2017, though Strzok noted some issues with the exact timestamp of the posts shown here:

“Not only are they reviewing the president’s tweets, which were critical of Obama and the FBI, they’re trying to figure out when he sent them,” Fitton said in a video report posted on the Judicial Watch YouTube page. “What business is it of the FBI to investigate the president of the United States over criticism of the FBI and Barack Obama?”

Jim Rybicki, then-FBI Director James Comey’s chief of staff, sent an email soon after on March 29 about a “Sensitive Matter Briefing:” That email was addressed to Priestap, Strzok, Page, then-FBI General Counsel James Baker as well as then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and others.

According to Judicial Watch:

Rybicki writes, “The Director would like a briefing tomorrow (Thursday) on the sensitive application. [Emphasis added] I just spoke to Pete and gave him the scope. Will probably be at 5pm after the unmasking briefing.”

McCabe replies to Strzok and Ghattas, saying, “Any idea what’s driving this?”

Strzok replies, “Jim R said OAG told him the AG wanted a brief in advance of signing and would want a little bit of time to think about it.”

 

Just one week later, on April 7, 2017, another renewal application was filed on the FISA warrant on former Trump campaign foreign-policy adviser Carter Page.

Judicial Watch detailed dozens of other emails that had been released as part of the FOIA request including one from March 20 when Strzok forwarded Page and another official a Washington Post article titled “President Trump’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Twitter Day.”

“This does a good job of parsing through the various tweets,” he wrote.

Last month, Judicial Watch announced it received 136 pages of emails between Strzok and Page right after Trump’s inauguration that revealed a White House counterintelligence briefing that could “play into” the FBI’s “investigative strategy.”

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Frieda Powers

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