In a letter sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) demanded to know if the FBI refused to charge Hillary Clinton because agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page committed similar crimes.
Grassley raises the prospect that Strzok and Page could have engaged in the “alienation or destruction of federal records,” and asked Wray if the agents’ handling of federal records using private communications may have motivated them to shy away from finding evidence of Hillary Clinton engaging in similar acts.
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Grassley’s letter reads:
In addition, I have raised concerns in multiple letters to the FBI about whether the FBI’s investigation was improperly narrow, focusing only on issues related to classified information, and not considering the alienation or destruction of federal records, whether classified or not, which is a crime under 18 U.S.C. § 2071.15 On April 10, 2016 and on June 3, 2017, respectively, Strzok said the following to Page:
Gmailed you two drafts of what I’m thinking of sending Bill, would appreciate your thoughts. Second (more recent) is updated so you can skip the first.16 …
Type on home computer and email to yourself.17
Additionally, in many messages they refer to related conversations they were having via iMessage, presumably on their personal Apple devices.
It appears that Strzok and Page transmitted federal records pertaining to the Clinton investigation on private, non-government services. It is important to determine whether their own similar conduct was a factor in not focusing on and developing evidence of similar violations by Secretary Clinton and her aides.
In what was a major blow to Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the special counsel was forced to fire Strzok after anti-Trump text messages were discovered.
New York Times reports:
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The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators. He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. But Mr. Strzok was reassigned this summer from Mr. Mueller’s investigation to the F.B.I.’s human resources department, where he has been stationed since.
In a statement to the New York Times, Strzok’s lawyer said ”we are aware of the allegation and are taking any and all appropriate steps.”
In August, ABC News reported that Strzok quit Team Mueller for unknown reasons. “It’s unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller’s team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staff. Strzok, who has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division,” reported Mike Levine.
This month we learned the FBI’s closing statement on its email probe was heavily edited.
Comey’s original draft stated, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statute proscribing gross negligence in the handling of classified information and of the statute proscribing misdemeanor mishandling, my judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”
It was then edited to remove “gross negligence” and “misdemeanor mishandling” to “potential violations of the statutes.”
As previously reported, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee revealed in mid-December Comey made more edits to Hillary’s draft statement.