Exclusive: As an FBI agent is transferred out of the Trump-Russia probe, there are new questions about Rudy Giuliani’s role in the Clinton e-mail scandal.
Late on Thursday afternoon, a bombshell dropped inside the normally extremely tight-lipped investigation office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI counterintelligence agent, was suddenly transferred from the Trump-Russia probe. An official announcement said Strzok was transferred to human resources at the FBI.
“I’ve never heard of an agent being moved to the human resources department.” Asha Rangappa, a former FBI counterintelligence agent and associate dean at Yale Law School, told the Business Insider. “I have seen instances where if some issue comes up, the agent might be moved to another investigation or to the operations center, where you essentially field calls all day, but why he would be moved to HR is just bizarre,” Rangappa said.
Strzok was not just a superstar inside the FBI working on some of the Bureau’s biggest counterintelligence cases, he was also involved in last year’s botched FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.
On January 12th this year, the office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz opened a review of the FBI Investigation into the Clinton e-mails “in response to requests from numerous chairmen and ranking members of congressional oversight committees, various organizations and members of the public.”
Former FBI Director James Comey was fully supportive of the investigation saying he was “grateful” for the probe. Comey, you’ll recall, made a surprising statement 11 days before the election about a “new” set of Hillary Clinton e-mails that were discovered on the home computer Anthony Weiner shared with his wife, Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin.
In October, with Trump’s poll numbers plunging, Trump surrogate Rudy Giuliani promised a “surprise”.
With Trump’s poll numbers declining, former New York City Mayor and Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News on October 26.
“I’m sorry, I don’t believe in polls. Every election I ever won, I outperformed the polls,” Giuliani said. “I think he’s [Trump] got a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I’m talking about some pretty big surprises. We’re not going to go down and certainly won’t stop fighting. We’ve got a couple of things up our sleeve that should turn this around,” Giuliani said.
Just as Giuliani predicted, two days later, on October 28, FBI director James Comey sent an unusual letter to the heads of various congressional committees about a new batch of e-mails discovered on the Weiner home computer.
“I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.” Comey added that the agency couldn’t yet determine “whether or not this material may be significant or not,” or “how long it will take us to complete this additional work.”
On November 4th, a week after Comey sent that letter, Peter Strzok, the FBI counterintelligence investigator who was transferred out of Mueller’s investigation this week, interviewed Hillary Clinton about the e-mails. Three days later, Comey cleared the Democratic Presidential candidate. By then, Clinton’s poll numbers had begun to take a dive and didn’t have much runway to recover before the November 8 election.
Trump loyalist says NYPD forced Comey to act on the Clinton E-mails.
Now it seems elements within the Trump campaign with connections to law enforcement had been ratcheting up the narrative of the Clinton e-mails. In addition to Giuliani’s tip of “something up our sleeve,” former Blackwater CEO, mercenary Erik Prince, told Breitbart Radio on November 4th (the same day Clinton was interviewed by Strzok) the NYPD had found explosive evidence on the Weiner hard drive and the FBI national office had refused to follow-up.
Citing a source at the NYPD, Prince claimed the NYPD forced Comey to act threatening to take revenge action if he didn’t. “The amount of garbage that they found in these emails, of criminal activity by Hillary, by her immediate circle, and even by other Democratic members of Congress was so disgusting they gave it to the FBI, and they said, ‘We’re going to go public with this if you don’t reopen the investigation and you don’t do the right thing with timely indictments,’” Prince explained.
We know Prince’s account of what was on those e-mails is untrue but the notion that New York law enforcement was engaged in some sort of tug of war with the FBI may indeed be true. After all, even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein issued a public rebuke of the procedures followed by the normally by-the-book Comey in explaining his firing.
“The Director ignored another longstanding principle: we do not hold press conferences to release derogatory information about the subject of a declined criminal investigation. Derogatory information sometimes is disclosed in the course of criminal investigations and prosecutions, but we never release it gratuitously. The Director laid out his version of the facts for the news media as if it were a closing argument, but without a trial. It is a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do,” Rosenstein said in a memo before Comey’s firing.
Christopher Steele blames “a cabal within the Bureau” with ties to Giuliani for FBI focus on Clinton e-mails.
Christopher Steele, the MI6 former Russian head of the Russia desk and the author of the explosive “Steele Dossier” of Trump kompromat also believed there was “a cabal within the Bureau blocked a thorough inquiry into Mr Trump, focusing instead on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.”
Steele had been trying to get the FBI’s attention on the Trump evidence but the bureau kept stalling instead focusing on Clinton. According to the Independent Newspaper which interviewed Steele:
“The New York office, in particular, appeared to be on a crusade against Ms Clinton. Some of its agents had a long working relationship with Rudy Giuliani, by then a member of the Trump campaign, since his days as public prosecutor and then Mayor of the city,” The Independent wrote.
Giuliani does indeed have close ties to the NYPD and the FBI in New York. He and Prince both actively worked on behalf of the Trump campaign while peddling the Clinton e-mail stories. Giuliani was a top surrogate and even considered for the Attorney General job and was involved in writing the Trump Administration’s “Muslim Ban”.
The day after Comey’s letter on the Weiner e-mails, he went on radio and admitted to discussing the case with active agents. “The other rumor that I get is that there’s a kind of revolution going on inside the FBI about the original conclusion [not to charge Clinton] being completely unjustified and almost a slap in the face to the FBI’s integrity,” said Giuliani. “I know that from former agents. I know that even from a few active agents.
If Steele’s assertions are true, it could explain why the FBI took so long take act on the Trump information Steele had collected. Now that senior FBI investigator Peter Strzok who helmed the Clinton e-mail investigation has been relieved of any counter-intelligence duties, it’s worth asking if the Office of the Inspector General has indeed turned up evidence to suggest elements in the FBI and the NYPD had been working to interfere in the election campaign on behalf of Trump and against Clinton and did the former hero Mayor of New York have a role?
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