Clinton exoneration statement
December 4, 2018: And Then There Was None – Bill Priestap Resigns
“The only remaining FBI counterintelligence official at the center of all Spygate and Clinton investigation issues is departing. The enigma man, E.W. “Bill” Piestap is retiring from the FBI. Bill Priestap is the FBI Asst. Director in charge of all counterintelligence operations. Priestap was FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s boss; he was also at the epicenter of the story surrounding every action taken by the FBI in the Clinton investigation and the Trump campaign investigation.
Bill Priestap was copied on every email of consequence including the writing of the Clinton exoneration talking points delivered by FBI Director James Comey. Priestap was the central figure on the FBI side of both Clinton and Trump operations. “Bill” is mentioned in hundreds of text messages sent by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
In short, Bill Priestap was everywhere – except where you would most likely expect to find him, in media discussion. The timing seems curious though the Wall Street Journal goes to great lengths to describe the timing as a mere happenstance due to his 20-year service anniversary and the opportunity to retire with full benefits:
WASHINGTON—A top FBI official who helped oversee two politically sensitive investigations related to the 2016 presidential campaign is retiring from government service.
Bill Priestap, who currently serves as assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s counterintelligence division, will leave his post by the end of the year. Mr. Priestap, a 20-year veteran of the bureau, worked on organized crime and drug cases in Chicago before rising through the national security ranks of the agency after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Mr. Priestap’s retirement is unrelated to the controversies over the handling of the 2016 investigations, according to a person familiar with the matter. He “became eligible to retire and has chosen to do so after 20 years of service,” the FBI said in a statement.
The federal government allows some employees, including FBI agents, to retire with full benefits if they are 50 or older and have at least two decades of service.
During the 2016 campaign, Mr. Priestap was one of several officials at the center of two politically volatile probes: the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information, and a counterintelligence inquiry into whether associates of then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government.
After Mr. Priestap’s departure, none of the high-ranking bureau officials involved in the two investigations will remain with the bureau. FBI director James Comey was fired by President Trump last year, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was later dismissed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions over his contacts with the media, days before he was eligible to retire with benefits.
Peter Strzok, the chief of the counterespionage section, left the FBI this year after it emerged that he had sent disparaging text messages about Mr. Trump.
Top bureau officials, especially those with national security experience, are in high demand in private-sector fields like cybersecurity, defense contracting and private intelligence. Mr. Priestap’s future plans aren’t known. (read more)
(…) Priestap was so important that during FBI Director James Comey’s March 20th, 2017 congressional testimony Director Comey told congress it was Bill Priestap who recommended that congressional oversight should not be notified of the ongoing counterintelligence operations. Priestap’s instruction was so important that despite the rules violation FBI Director Comey followed his recommendation and kept congress in the dark.
On June 5th, 2018, FBI Director of Counterintelligence E.W. “Bill” Priestap testified to a joint session of the House Judiciary and House Oversight committees.
The hearing was a matter of strong public interest. Mr. Priestap was questioned for approximately seven hours. However, journalist Olivia Beavers covering for The Hill dropped a detail that seemed rather curious:
(…) Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), however, said he felt that Priestap didn’t say anything that would indicate there was “political bias that motivated the Hillary Clinton email investigation.”
Priestap “completely” backed up everything that Comey said, according to a source familiar with his testimony.
Only three lawmakers — Jordan, Meadows and Krishnamoorthi — attended the hearing, which took place on the first day after a week-long recess.
Priestap’s interview comes after the joint House investigation stalled for months after being first announced. (more)
On the home-front: FBI Director of Counterintelligence Bill Priestap is married to Sabina Menshell a self-employed “consultant” with a history of donations to Democrat candidates, specifically to Hillary Clinton.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 12/04/2018)
June 2016 – Peter Strzok says he can’t recall changing Clinton’s exoneration statement on his computer
“FBI official Peter Strzok testified Thursday that he can’t recall using his work computer to soften the wording of a statement exonerating Hillary Clinton of mishandling classified information.
Strzok conceded during a joint hearing of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees that metadata indicates his computer made the change, but said he can’t remember doing it.
The June 2016 edit changed “grossly negligent,” a term that carries legal liability under the Espionage Act, to “extremely careless.
(…) “My recollection, sir, is that somebody within our office of general counsel did, it was one of the attorneys, I don’t remember which one,” Strzok said. “It was a legal issue that one of the attorneys brought up.”
After a meeting, the change was made on Strzok’s computer.
“I don’t recall specifically when it happened,” he testified.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., noted that metadata indicated that Strzok’s computer made the change.
“I am aware as well of that metadata,” Strzok said. “My recollection is of working on the draft with a group of us in my office because it was the largest office and taking the inputs of probably five or ten different people.”
Sensenbrenner asked Strzok to confirm that his computer made the change.
“Based on my subsequent review of that metadata, I believe that to be true,” Strzok said.”