Communications uncovered by congressional investigators reveal the FBI may have improperly coordinated with Department of Justice officials in an effort to pressure those officials to expedite a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance warrant on a former volunteer with the President Trump’s campaign, congressional officials said.

Text messages obtained by investigators reveal that FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok and his colleague Lisa Page were discussing the FBI’s difficulty in obtaining the warrant to spy on Carter Page, who worked for a short stint with the Trump campaign. The FBI obtained its first warrant to spy on Page on Oct. 19, 2016, and there would be three subsequent renewals every 90 days for the warrant on Mr. Page.

“At best, it’s a strange coincidence worth investigating further—but it’s likely much more…”

The communications, which were first released last week and obtained by congressional investigators, occurred roughly one month before the Page warrant was obtained. The communications suggested that there was possible coordination by Obama White House officials, the CIA and the FBI into the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign, as reported earlier.
In one of the September 2016 text message chains, Strzok tells Lisa Page about an argument that occurred with former DOJ prosecutor David Laufman. Laufman, who was then chief of the DOJ’s National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, oversaw the probe into former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, as well as the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. Laufman left the DOJ earlier this year citing personal reasons for leaving his post, according to news reports.

In the text message, Strzok complains that Laufman told him the hold-up for the application “EDVA is/was the delay.” The EDVA refers to the Eastern District of Virginia—a court that has previously issued subpeonas in the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation. This exchange raises concerns about FBI agents potentially pressuring prosecutors and the courts to speed up the production of information related to issuing FISA warrants, congressional staffers added. Congressional investigators originally stated that the EDVA had possibly been involved in the issuing of a FISA warrant.

Comey, Mueller, Strzok

Comey, Mueller, Strzok

“Everything here—from the texts complaining about FISA delays to the exchanges indicating coordination, to the White House visitor logs—seems to match to a disturbing degree. At best, it’s a strange coincidence worth investigating further—but it’s likely much more,” a congressional investigator told this reporter. “Congress has to take this information seriously if we hope to restore Americans’ trust in our federal justice system.”

In March 2016 there was already tension brewing between the FBI and Laufman.

“I am getting aggravated at Laufman,” a March 2016 message from Strzok to Lisa Page said.

According to congressional investigators, the new communications suggest that conflict only got deeper in the following months.

In a Sept. 8, 2016 text message, Lisa Page told Strzok: “Oh, just make sure I understood where things were on the [redacted] paper, trying to talk to Axelrod [Matthew Axelrod, DOJ prosecutor] because he’s ‘so angry’ with how this came over to them. I told her not to put herself out too much if Matt wants to call and yell at Andy it’s fine.” Matthew Axelrod was the former top deputy to then acting attorney general Sally Yates. Yates was fired by Trump in January 2017 after she refused to enforce his executive travel ban order.

The reference to ‘Andy’ is former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired on March 16, by the Department of Justice at the request of the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Only several days after the text was sent, White House visitor logs reveal that on Sept. 12, 2016, Axelrod met with President Obama at the White House.

McCabe may now be looking at possible charges for lying under oath to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is investigating the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Clinton. His firing came days before he would have been eligible for a lifetime pension. The bureau fired McCabe based on evidence that he lied to the DOJ’s Inspector General’s office four times regarding leaks to the media during the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of the unsecured private server to send classified messages.

AG Jeff Sessions, Top Officials Announce Major Law Enforcement Actions

DOJ Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that McCabe had “made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions.”

McCabe contended in a statement shortly after his firing that he was fired as part of the administration’s “ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the Special Counsel investigation.”

However, current FBI Director Christopher Wray disputed McCabe’s assertion that he was fired for political reasons saying in an interview with NBC’s “Nightly News”  that his  “commitment to making sure that our process is followed, that it relies on objective input, and that most importantly, it is not based on political or partisan influence is something I am utterly unyielding on.”

Clarification: This story has been updated with additional information from Congressional investigators on the Eastern District of Virginia court. They had originally stated that a FISA warrant was issued in the Eastern District of Virginia.

Notable Replies

  1. What puzzles me is actually how little John Carlin’s name comes up. The man was Mueller’s Chief of Staff, and was appointed by Loretta Lynch to Deputy AG for the National Security Division. As I understand, all of these FISA warrants would have been approved by him. He also resigned his post a mere 5 weeks before the election of 2016. His background and resume scream “insider” who (my speculation only) would have been in a key position for promotion under an anticipated Hillary Clinton regime. So why don’t we hear more about him? Why did he resign? One only can guess in his position, he is either a devil, or an angel. Which is it?

  2. moe says:

    Thank you Sarah. As a “true baby-boomer” like President Trump, We were the “Question Authority” generation and the "Marching "Generation.

    My first thought that the Government lied to the people was when JFK was murdered. (I have an unconfirmed ancestor relationship with Dorothy Kilgallen who died under suspisious circumstances while investigating JFKs murder, for which she was maligned.).

    As a reservist In basic training in 1968 at Fort Dix, I saw how college men like myself were not desired for combat, except as Officers or platoon leaders. It was the poor and uneducated that I saw and spoke with. The poor black children knew they probably would not return. The poor whites never had a chance, they were probably the first ones to die. Later I went with my reserve officers into the “black areas” of Boston (Roxbury), where the officers lied to the mothers of black children that the war was winding down and “their child” would probably be sent to Germany to study computers.

    So 2018 is the 50th anniversary of when I first realized the United States was no longer a Governemnt Of, By., and For the people". Most politicians of both parties have no interest. My first two choices for President were Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina. Like President Trump. they had achieved enough wealth to enjoy life but were making a sacrifice for the American People.

    Sara, I will not live long enough to see the Swamp drained but I hope that you will. Thank you for you journalism and hope!
    Maurice O’Connor
    Thailand (New Home of the Red, While, and Blue- where the true meaning of Christmas is celebrated all year long.)

  3. Once again, how do you know something pushed by Sara Carter/John Solomon/Hannity/Greg Jarret/Fox News/the right is just another laugher conspiracy theory lacking any relationship to the facts and the truth?

    Answer: It includes “may,” “could” “might,” “if this true,” etc.

    Everyone except the Russian trolls and the lunatic right are tearing this story up, Sara, and you’ve lost any of the last little bit of credibility you had as an “independent pro-Trump reporter” as Politico referred to you.

    But then again, the good news is losing your credibility with the real world means that you’ll probably be getting your own show on Fox or Sinclair Broadcasting, so congratulations.

  4. Forget sending tea cookies. The US Postal Service couldn’t manage to get them to the jail before his whopping 30 days of jail time would be over and he had zipped off a $20,000.00 check for his fine.
    Mueller is over reaching the bounds of a Special Counsel per the law. Sara Carter and John Solomon are probably the best investigative journalist working. If you find her work so unimpressive, why troll her website and forum?

  5. This article explains how Podest, Hillary’s right hand man, talked to Fernandez about “something” just a week before the Hill announced Hillary’s involvement in Uranium one.

    The Dems all stick together no matter the evidence presented to them.
    It’s always just a big Conspiracy Theory.

    This from Assange shows the “Conspiracy Theory” is not as far fetched as Dems seem to think it is.

    “Part 1 of the Podesta Emails comprises 2,060 emails and 170 attachments and focuses on Mr Podesta’s communications relating to nuclear energy, and media handling over donations to the Clinton Foundation from mining and nuclear interests; 1,244 of the emails reference nuclear energy. The full collection includes emails to and from Hillary Clinton.”

    Another interesting part!

    "What the Clinton campaign spokesman failed to disclose, however, was the fact that a few days before sending his rebuttal to the New York Times, Jose Fernandez wrote on the evening of the 17 April 2015 to John Podesta following a phone call from Mr Podesta (Email ID 2053): “John, It was good to talk to you this afternoon, and I appreciate your taking the time to call. As I mentioned, I would like to do all I can to support Secretary Clinton, and would welcome your advice and help in steering me to the right persons in the campaign”.
    Five days after this email (22 April 2015), Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon wrote a memo to the New York Times, declaring that “Jose Fernandez has personally attested that ‘Secretary Clinton never intervened with me on any CFIUS matter’,” but Fallon failed to mention that Fernandez was hardly a neutral witness in this case, considering that he had agreed with John Podesta to play a role in the Clinton campaign.”

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