Ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok, who vowed to "stop" then-candidate Donald Trump from winning the presidency, demanded that he keep his security clearance and other powers before he moved to special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, new emails show.
“Broadly, I need to be able to act at least in the capacity of my old CD [counterintelligence division] DAD [deputy assistant director] job – approve NSLs [national security letters], conduct [redacted] declassify information, [redacted] agent travel, requisitions, etc. Of those, the most problematic and one of the most essential is declassification authority,” Strzok wrote in an email to Bill Priestap, FBI counterintelligence chief, dated July 13, 2017.
The emails, acquired by Judicial Watch after filing a freedom of information request, show Strzok’s supervisor agreed to the demands, deeming him a "floating” deputy who would have the power to declassify documents. The move gave Strzok special powers as he joined Mueller's team, charged by the Justice Department with probing alleged collusion between Trump's campaign and the Russian government.
"In answer to your initial question, while assigned to the Special Counsel’s office, you will retain your CD DAD authorities, to include declassification authority," Priestap said in reply to Strzok. "Since you will take your non-transferrable declassification authority with you, CD will work to obtain another declassification authority slot for the DAD who is chosen to replace you."
He added: "Assuming the 7th floor approves, you will remain on CD’s books as a fourth (floating) DAD. When you move on from your DAD position, your DAD slot will revert back to HRD."
"Strzok's insistence on keeping the declassification authority raises concerns whether such authority gave the Mueller investigation special capabilities to target President Trump," Fox News reported.
“It sure did,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton told Fox News. “Strzok wouldn't have asked for it if he didn't think it'd be useful in his new job.”
“He wanted the authority to issue national security letters, which essentially are secret requests for information that fall short of needing court approval,” Fitton continued. “He also wanted – and he said this was ‘essential,’ which is very unusual – he wanted the ability to declassify information. He wanted to keep that ability.”
Said Judicial Watch:
Strzok was reportedly removed from the Mueller investigative team in August 2017 and reassigned to a human resources position after it was discovered that he and another FBI lawyer, Lisa Page exchanged text messages during the Clinton investigation and campaign season that raise serious [questions] about his anti-Trump/pro-Clinton bias. They were also engaged in an extramarital affair.
Strzok oversaw the FBI’s interviews of former National Security Adviser, General Michael Flynn. He changed former FBI Director James Comey’s language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her illicit email server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” He also played a lead role in the FBI’s interview of Clinton and is suspected of being responsible for using the unverified dossier to obtain a FISA warrant in order to spy on President Trump’s campaign.