The FBI memos show that agents wanted a “pretext” to justify investigating Carter Page.
I’m not sure why we’re just now hearing about these FBI memos, but if there are others that the FBI is trying to hide then they must be really damning, because the recent ones are even more damaging to the FBI’s long debunked reputation as an impartial investigator than the previous releases. They reveal an FBI desperate to get some dirt on Trump before the election—revealing a political motive—and raise other possibilities.
Investigative journalist John Soloman writes at The Hill: “Memos detail FBI’s ‘Hurry the F up pressure’ to probe Trump campaign.”
Multiple reviews of whether FBI agents’ political bias affected the Russia-Trump collusion case remain in their infancy, but investigators already have unearthed troubling internal communications long withheld from public view.[…]
The memos show Strzok, Lisa Page and others in counterintelligence monitored news articles in September 2016 that quoted a law enforcement source as saying the FBI was investigating Carter Page’s travel to Moscow.
“At a minimum, the letter provides us a pretext to interview,” Strzok wrote to Lisa Page on Sept. 26, 2016.
Within weeks, that “pretext” — often a synonym for an excuse — had been upsized to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant, giving the FBI the ability to use some of its most awesome powers to monitor Carter Page and his activities.[…]
The day after Trump’s surprising win on Nov. 9, 2016, the FBI counterintelligence team engaged in a new mission, bluntly described in another string of emails prompted by another news leak.
“We need ALL of their names to scrub, and we should give them ours for the same purpose,” Strzok emailed Page on Nov. 10, 2016, citing a Daily Beast article about some of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s allegedly unsavory ties overseas.[…]
It’s an extraordinary exchange, if for no other reason than this: The very day after Trump wins the presidency, some top FBI officials are involved in the sort of gum-shoeing normally reserved for field agents, and their goal is to find derogatory information about someone who had worked for the president-elect.
As the president-elect geared up to take over, the FBI made another move that has captured investigators’ attention: It named an executive with expertise in the FBI’s most sensitive surveillance equipment to be a liaison to the Trump transition.
On its face, that seems odd; technical surveillance nerds aren’t normally the first picks for plum political assignments.
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