Since Thursday night we’ve been combing the FBI files to figure out exactly what FBI Agent Peter Strzok was referencing in one of the most recently released text messages. We have discovered the context and the text is now damning.
House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte read this specific text message on Thursday night during an interview with Sean Hannity:
At first, the context behind the September 10th, 2016, message was elusive, however it is now clear.
On September 2nd, 2016, during the (pre-election) apex of the FBI providing the documents behind their investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her personal email, and the subsequent decision by FBI Director James Comey not to pursue criminal charges therein, the FBI released their investigative files:
September 2nd, 2016 FBI Press Release:
“Today the FBI is releasing a summary of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s July 2, 2016 interview with the FBI concerning allegations that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on a personal e-mail server she used during her tenure. We also are releasing a factual summary of the FBI’s investigation into this matter.
We are making these materials available to the public in the interest of transparency and in response to numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Appropriate redactions have been made for classified information or other material exempt from disclosure under FOIA. Additional information related to this investigation that the FBI releases in the future will be placed on The Vault, the FBI’s electronic FOIA library.” (link)
The FBI was under pressure to release their investigative documents. On Sept 2nd, 2016 the release included the FBI investigative notes (FD-302’s) from the questions and answers during Hillary Clinton’s interview. This investigative release was big news at the time.
The 302’s are the specific FBI forms used to document interviews/interrogations. They detail questions asked and answers given as well as who was present during the interview.
Inside the September 2nd, 2016, FBI release were two files:
•One file was 47 pages (full pdf here) and includes a full summary of the Clinton email investigation.
•The second file is 11 pages (full pdf here) and is the actual FBI investigator notes during the Hillary Clinton interview.
This second file is the “FD-302” (embed at the bottom for reference). This is the 302 file FBI Agent Peter Strzok is referencing in the text message to Lisa Page. Remember, Peter Strzok was one of the FBI people who actually interviewed Hillary Clinton.
What FBI Agent Peter Strzok is admitting in the September 10th text message, is that there are details within the interview of Hillary Clinton that he (and others) intentionally withheld from the September 2nd, 2016, release.
Specifically, evidence withheld in the 302’s would be some of the FBI questions and some of the Hillary Clinton answers to those questions. In essence, the FBI held back actually releasing the full account of the interview.
According to the Strzok text message, the reason for withholding some of the details of the Hillary Clinton interview is because there are “very INFLAMMATORY things” within it; and once congress finds out what was withheld the details will “absolutely inflame” them.
Peter Strzok then goes on to say when/if the full FOIA is released, presumably post-election, Jim, Trisha, Dave and Mike are going to have to figure out how to deal with the discrepancy:
…”I’m sure Jim and Trisha and Dave and Mike are all considering how things like that will play out as they talk among themselves.”
“Jim” is likely James Baker, the Chief Legal Counsel for FBI Director James Comey.
“Trish” is likely Trisha Beth Anderson, Office of Legal Counsel for the FBI. [Anderson was hired for the DOJ, by AG Eric Holder, from Eric Holder’s law firm.]
“Dave” and “Mike” currently remain unknown.
So it would appear, James Baker and Trisha Anderson, the legal advisers at the top of the FBI leadership apparatus, were both aware the September 2nd, 2016, FOIA release was manipulated to conceal part of Hillary Clinton’s questions and answers.
Perhaps now we can better understand the importance of this specific text message as it was released by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte.
This message by Strzok shows a team of FBI officials intentionally conspiring to withhold “inflammatory” Clinton investigation evidence, from congress. And the decision-making goes directly to the very top leadership within the FBI.
Peter Strzok justifies his knowledge of the intentionally withheld 302 interview material by claiming: “because they weren’t relevant to understanding the focus of the investigation”. However, to evaluate the filter this investigative team are applying we only need to look at the wording of their public release which accompanied the material:
Today the FBI is releasing a summary of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s July 2, 2016 interview with the FBI concerning allegations that classified information was improperly stored or transmitted on a personal e-mail server she used during her tenure. (link)
They felt obligated only to release information about “classified” or “improperly stored or transmitted” information. That’s a rather disingenuous investigation.
There’s no mention of any FBI intent to investigate action or conduct undertaken by Hillary Clinton or her team to hide the use of classified or improperly stored information; or any intent to look at a cover-up, scrubbing, or conduct that happened AFTER it was discovered that she unlawfully used a personal e-mail server during her tenure.
We can see from the wording of the FBI public release, and the overlay of the text message from interviewer Peter Strzok, a deliberate effort to inquire into only the surface issues of classified information transmission and storage. There was no investigative intent to go beyond that, and no information released, intentionally, that might disclose any larger issues.
If the FBI was legitimately conducting an investigation, and providing the subsequent evidence from within that investigation, the FOIA would include all material relevant to the investigation, which would include all 302 (essentially Q&A) pages. However, the set of questions and answers the FBI released on Sept. 2nd 2016 was not the full set of Questions and Answers. They withheld something, likely “inflammatory”, per FBI Agent Strzok.
FBI Agent Peter Strzok is outlining in this text message a deliberate intent to shape the Clinton interview, and then a deliberative process of filtering out only those aspects of the interview that would support their pre-determined outcome, delivered only days later.
Additionally, FBI Agent Strzok is admitting that a group of FBI officials including himself, James Baker, Trisha Anderson, Lisa Page, and likely others (McCabe, Comey) conspired together to intentionally withhold information -derived from this interview- from congress and the American people.
REFERENCE and RESOURCES:
- FBI September 2nd, 2016, Press Release HERE
- FBI Investigative Outline released September 2nd, 2016, HERE
- FBI Investigators Notes (302’s) as Released Sept., 2nd, 2016, HERE
- Chairman Bob Goodlatte Interview Video – HERE
- September 2nd, 2016, CTH Article Discussing FBI Release HERE
File #1 of Document release – Investigation Summary:
File #2 – The Summary of Interview – The 302’s:
Below is the list of things Hillary Clinton could not recall in the FBI interview, as compiled by Lifezette in 2016:
- When she received security clearance
- Being briefed on how to handle classified material
- How many times she used her authority to designate items classified
- Any briefing on how to handle very top-secret “Special Access Program” material
- How to select a target for a drone strike
- How the data from her mobile devices was destroyed when she switched devices
- The number of times her staff was given a secure phone
- Why she didn’t get a secure Blackberry
- Receiving any emails she thought should not be on the private system
- Did not remember giving staff direction to create private email account
- Getting guidance from state on email policy
- Who had access to her Blackberry account
- The process for deleting her emails
- Ever getting a message that her storage was almost full
- Anyone besides Huma Abedin being offered an account on the private server
- Being sent information on state government private emails being hacked
- Receiving cable on State Dept personnel securing personal email accounts
- Receiving cable on Bryan Pagliano upgrading her server
- Using an iPad mini
- An Oct. 13, 2012, email on Egypt with Clinton pal Sidney Blumenthal
- Jacob Sullivan using personal email
- State Department protocol for confirming classified information in media reports
- Every briefing she received after suffering concussions
- Being notified of a FOIA request on Dec. 11, 2012
- Being read out of her clearance
- Any further access to her private email account from her State Department tenure after switching to her HRC office.com account.
Secretary Clinton could not recall when she received her security clearance or whether it was carried over from her time in the Senate. She also could not recall any briefing or training by the State Department “related to the retention of federal records or the handling of classified information.”
Secretary Clinton said she was briefed on Special Access Programs – the top-level classification of U.S. intelligence – but could not recall the specific training or briefings on how to handle that information. Additional discoveries from September 2016:
DISCOVERY ONE: Clinton Deleted Her Private Email Archive “A Few Weeks After The New York TimesDisclosed” The Private Server. Viser Tweet: “A few weeks after the NYT disclosed that Hillary Clinton had a private email account, her archive inbox was deleted.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY TWO: Clinton Did Not Know The (C) Mark Meant Classified And Did Not “Pay Attention To Diff Classification Levels.” Seitz-Wald Tweet: “Clinton said she didn’t know what (c) mark meant, didn’t pay attn to diff classification levels, treated all srsly.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY THREE: “There Were 17,448 Work-Related Emails That Clinton Didn’t Turn Over To The State Inspector General.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY FOUR: As Secretary Of State Clinton “Had 13 Mobile Devices And 5 iPads” With Her Private Email.Viser Tweet: “Hillary Clinton, who said she had her private email for convenience, had 13 mobile devices and 5 iPads, according to FBI.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY FIVE: Clinton’s Lawyers Could Not Locate The Mobile Devices With Her Email Address.. Viser Tweet: ‘FBI found 13 total mobile devices associated with Clinton’s 2 phone numbers. Her lawyers couldn’t locate the devices” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY SIX: “The FBI Determined That Clinton Brought Her Blackberry Into A Secure Area At State, Which Is Prohibited.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY SEVEN: Clinton’s Email Archive Was Transferred Onto A Personal Gmail Address To Help Archive The Records. Zapotosky Tweet: “In 2014, in an effort to transfer an archive of Clinton emails from a laptop onto a server, someone used a personal Gmail address to help” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY EIGHT: Clinton Deleted Her Emails Because She Thought “She Didn’t Need Them Anymore.”Cilizza Tweet: ‘Clinton told the FBI she deleted her emails because she didn’t need them anymore not to avoid FOIA”(Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY NINE: Someone Tried To Hack Into Clinton’s iCloud Account. Viser Tweet: “The FBI found that someone was trying to hack into Hillary Clinton’s iCloud account. They were unsuccessful.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
DISCOVERY TEN: “Hillary Clinton Sent Out An Email To All State Employees Warning Them Against Using Personal Email Addresses.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
BONUS DISCOVERY: “The Phrase ‘Could Not Recall’ Or ‘Did Not Recall’ Appears 27 Times In Hillary Clinton FBI Interview Transcript.” (Twitter.com, 9/2/16)
We can only imagine what the FBI held back…