(…) In a report released in December by Horowitz on the FBI’s FISA abuse during its investigation into the Trump campaign, the role of an unidentified FBI supervisory special agent (SSA)—described in Horowitz’s report as “SSA 1”—was featured prominently throughout. The description of events and dates match the public information on Pientka’s actions, and on Dec. 13, Pientka was confirmed by Fox News as being “SSA 1.”
The inspector general report noted that all the participating members of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team were selected by Strzok, Pientka, and “the Intel Section chief,” who is almost certainly intelligence analyst Jonathan Moffa, who, according to July 16, 2018, testimony from Lisa Page, worked on both the Clinton and Trump investigations with Strzok.
On page xviii of the inspector general report, it was disclosed that Pientka was running the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign as its supervisor. Pientka also was the agent who provided defensive briefings to the Trump and Clinton campaigns in August 2016.
“We learned during the course of our review that in August 2016, the supervisor of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, SSA 1 [Pientka], participated on behalf of the FBI in a strategic intelligence briefing given by Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to candidate Trump and his national security advisors, including Michael Flynn, and in a separate strategic intelligence briefing given to candidate Clinton and her national security advisors,” the report states.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), during congressional testimony given by Horowitz, noted that the FBI used this meeting as an opportunity to effectively spy on the Trump campaign and gather further information—a characterization that Horowitz agreed with. Horowitz also said in his testimony he was concerned about this practice:
Sen. Graham: “So when we get defensively briefed tomorrow, would it be okay for FBI agents to open up 302s on what we said?”
Mr. Horowitz: “We have very significant concerns about that.”
Horowitz noted in his report that Pientka was specifically selected to “provide the FBI briefings, in part, because Flynn, who was a subject in the ongoing Crossfire Hurricane investigation, would be attending the Trump campaign briefing.”
Just prior to this defensive briefing, on Aug. 1, 2016, Strzok and Pientka “traveled to the European city to interview the FFG [Friendly Foreign Government] officials who met with Papadopoulos in May 2016.” The IG report noted that “during the interview they learned that Papadopoulos did not say that he had direct contact with the Russians.”
It also appears that Pientka was in charge of selecting the Confidential Human Sources (CHS) that were used against George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Flynn:
“In determining how to use CHSs in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, SSA 1 and the case agents told the OIG that they focused their CHS operations on the predicating information and the four named subjects,” the inspector general report states.
The report describes “a consensually recorded meeting in August 2016 between Carter Page and an FBI CHS.” The IG noted that Pientka and “Case Agent 1 told the OIG that this meeting was important for the investigation.” But it appears that important information from this meeting was left out of the Page FISA application.
In footnote 197, the IG noted that “Page’s comment about his lack of a relationship with Manafort was relevant to one of the allegations in the Steele reporting that was relied upon in the Carter Page FISA applications, but information about the August 2016 CHS meeting was not shared with the OI attorneys handling the FISA applications until June 2017.” (Read more: The Epoch Times, 12/30/2019) (Archive)