Peter Strzok Document Suggests New York Times Report on Russia Collusion Was False

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok is seated to testify before the the House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing on "Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election," on Capitol Hill, Thursday, July 12, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP Photo

The Senate Judiciary Committee released a declassified document Friday that shows former FBI agent Peter Strzok knew that a February 2017 article in the New York Times suggesting Russia “collusion” was false in almost every respect.

The document includes Strzok’s digital annotations on a Times article, “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence,” which claimed that former and current U.S. “officials” had alleged that “members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials.”

Strzok added a note in the margins: “This statement is misleading and inaccurate as written. We have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Turmp campaign in contact with IOs [intelligence officials.]” Strzok also made several other notes throughout the article disputing every significant factual claim in the article.

The Times report reinforced public impressions that there had, in fact, been “Russia collusion,” and appeared the day after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had been forced to resign over claims he lied about his conversations with Russian officials.

Another document released was an FBI memorandum about an interview with the “primary sub-source” for the so-called “dossier” compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, working for the Fusion GPS opposition research firm, which had been paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to dig up Russian dirt on Trump.

The memorandum indicates that the sub-source disputed much of the information presented in the Steele “dossier.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a statement: “[I] was a miscarriage of justice for the FBI and the Department of Justice to continue to seek a FISA warrant against [former Trump campaign aide] Carter Page in April and June of 2017.”

He added: “Those who knew or should have known of this development and continued to pursue a FISA warrant against Mr. Page anyway are in deep legal jeopardy in my view.”

Trump has accused the FBI of spying on his campaign.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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