FBI emails released by a conservative watchdog group Monday suggest the bureau was lax in its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Judicial Watch obtained the 218 pages of emails between former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and agency lawyer Lisa Page. The activist group says the documents demonstrate how the FBI showed “special treatment” towards the former secretary of state and her lawyer.
“These incredible documents show the leadership of the FBI rushed to give Hillary Clinton her FBI interview report shortly before the election,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton wrote in a news release. “And the documents also show the FBI failed to timely document interviews in the Clinton email ‘matter’ – further confirming the whole investigation was a joke.” (RELATED: Liz Cheney: Strzok-Page Text Messages ‘Could Well Be Treason)
The emails focus on what the bureau calls “302s” – reports that document what was said during an interview between an agent and a witness. Page reportedly notes in one email that no such 302 was completed in four instances during the Clinton investigation. The lawyer, who was involved in an affair with Strzok at the time, did not go into details as to why there was such an oversight.
The emails include a discourse between then-FBI General Counsel James Baker and Clinton lawyer David Kendall from August 2016 that ensured the bureau would release the 302 of the Clinton interview “expeditiously.”
On Aug. 16, 2016, Baker wrote, “David asked us to focus first on the Secretary’s 302. I said ‘OK,'” noting that they would “get the 302 out the door as soon as possible.” That included providing Kendall with a copy of the 302 before it was posted on the FBI website on Sept. 2, 2016.
“I said we would alert him shortly before it appeared on our website,” Baker wrote.
When the document was posted, the FBI explained, “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.”
As well as being a lead investigator in the Clinton email investigation, Strzok was initially a member of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election that ultimately focussed on alleged collusion between Russia and the Donald Trump campaign team. (RELATED: Strzok: ‘We’ll Stop’ Trump Presidency)
Strzok was fired from the Mueller investigation after a series of Trump-hating text messages with Lisa Page came to light. In one exchange, Strzok called called Trump “a fucking idiot.”