“Judicial Watch announced today it received 136 pages of emails between former FBI official Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page. They include heavily redacted emails showing Strzok, Page and top bureau officials in the days prior to and following President Donald Trump’s inauguration discussing a White House counterintelligence briefing that could “play into” the FBI’s “investigative strategy.”
On January 19, 2017, the night before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, a series of emails were exchanged between top officials in the FBI’s General Counsel’s office, Counterintelligence Division and Washington Field Office, and included then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division Bill Priestap.
The thread was initiated at 3:29 p.m. on January 19 by an assistant general counsel in the FBI’s National Security Law Branch in an email to Strzok with an almost entirely redacted email in which the person said, “I’ll give Trisha/Baker a heads up too.” Strzok’s reply is redacted, as is the response to Strzok. Strzok then says at 7:04 p.m., “I briefed Bill this afternoon and he was trying without success to reach the DD [McCabe]. I will forward below to him as his [sic] changes the timeline. What’s your recommendation?” The Counterintelligence Division official’s reply to Strzok is mostly redacted, except for “Approved by tomorrow afternoon is the request. [Redacted] – please advise if I am missing something.” An unidentified official replies, “[Redacted], Bill is aware and willing to jump in when we need him.” At 8 p.m., Strzok responds (copying officials in the Counterintelligence Division, Washington Field Office and General Counsel’s office), “Just talked with Bill. [Redacted]. Please relay above to WFO and [redacted] tonight, and keep me updated with plan for meet and results of same. Good luck.” Strzok then forwards the whole email exchange to Lisa Page, saying, “Bill spoke with Andy. [Redacted.] Here we go again …”
On January 21, 2017, the day after Trump’s inauguration, Strzok forwarded to Lisa Page and a redacted person an email he’d sent that day to Priestap, asking them to “not forward/share.” In the email to Priestap, Strzok said, “I heard from [redacted] about the WH CI briefing routed from [redacted]. I am angry that Jen did not at least cc: me, as my branch has pending investigative matters there, this brief may play into our investigative strategy, and I would like the ability to have visibility and provide thoughts/counsel to you in advance of the briefing. This is one of the reasons why I raised the issue of lanes/responsibilities that I did when you asked her to handle WH detailee interaction.”
Also, on January 21, 2017, Strzok wrote largely the same message he’d sent to Priestap directly to his counterintelligence colleague Jennifer Boone.
The records were produced to Judicial Watch in a January 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed to respond to a December 2017 request for all communications between Strzok and Page (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)).