Judicial Watch: FBI Begins Releasing Strzok-Page Communications, DOJ Objects to Preservation Order

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Comment by Boris on July 17, 2018 at 3:54pm
Judicial Watch obtains the first court-ordered production of Strzok-Page communications from the FBI

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today that it has received 87 pages of records from the Department of Justice revealing former top FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page’s profanity-laced disdain for FBI hierarchy and policies. The DOJ, meanwhile, is resisting Judicial Watch’s request for a court order to preserve all responsive Page-Strzok communications.

Strzok and Page’s anti-Trump text messages became center-stage amid allegations of bias at the Bureau, and both have been subpoenaed to testify before the House Judiciary and the Oversight and Government Reform Committees.

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a January 2018 Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit filed after the DOJ failed to respond to a December 4, 2017, FOIA request (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of Justice (No. 1:18-cv-00154)). The lawsuit is seeking:

All records of communications, including but not limited to, emails, text messages and instant chats, between FBI official Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page;
All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Peter Strzok;
All travel requests, travel authorizations, travel vouchers and expense reports of Lisa Page.

Emails between Strzok and Page include conversations about a change in FBI policy that eventually would allow companies to discuss National Security Letters, which are secret non-court issued subpoenas for records:

From: Strzok, Peter P. (WF) (FBI)

Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 3:34 PM

To: Page, Lisa C. (OGC) (FBI)

Subject: FWD: FBI to Allow Companies to Reveal When They Receive National Security Letters

Sigh…are you f’ing kidding…



From: Page, Lisa C. (OGC) (FBI)

Sent: Wednesday, February 04, 2015 3:36 PM

To: Strzok, Peter P. (WF) (FBI)

Subject: RE: FBI to Allow Companies to Reveal When They Receive National Security Letters

Sigh. This is the third conversation I will have had with him or someone on his staff about this.

On February 9, 2015, in a discussion of an article about how the Department of Defense may have unwisely used an Arabic translator in a Guantanamo hearing who had also been used as a translator at a CIA black site, Strzok says, “I cannot begin to describe the amount of f*ckupedness if true…” Page replies, “I know. I heard about it on npr on my way home tonight. Multiple mentions of the FBI’s infiltration of defense teams last year too.”

On June 1, Judicial Watch filed a motion for preservation order in this case to asking the court to order the Department of Justice to prevent both Strzok and Page from potentially deleting any incriminating records of their communications. Judicial Watch argues that several of the text messages produced to Congress reference work-related communications between Strzok and Page through personal accounts.

Judicial Watch notes that in January, the DOJ told Congress that the FBI had neither requested nor searched information from the personal accounts of Strzok and Page. Judicial Watch argues:

In a January 25, 2018 letter to Senator Charles Grassley, Charles Thorley, Acting Assistant Director of the FBI, wrote, “FBI has not requested from Ms. Page or Mr. Strzok any information from their personal email accounts, nor has the FBI conducted searches of non-FBI issued communications devices or non-FBI email accounts associated with Mr. Strzok or Ms. Page….”

Under the law, “[a]n officer or employee of an executive agency may not create or send a record using a non-official electronic messaging account unless such officer or employee- (1) copies an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee in the original creation or transmission of the record; or (2) forwards a complete copy of the record to an official electronic messaging account of the officer or employee not later than 20 d

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