Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) revealed Wednesday the two FBI officials who were demoted after their texts showed bias against President Trump still have a top secret security clearance.
He tweeted: “BREAKING: FBI admits that @realDonaldTrump haters still have Top Secret security clearances which allows them to access sensitive private information!”
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) April 11, 2018
Paul was referring to Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — two senior FBI officials who played key roles in the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations, and who were having an extramarital affair.
In hundreds of pages of texts, they discussed the investigations and how much they loathed Trump, as well as hosting a dinner party so they could talk to the judge who was presiding over former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s case.
After the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz discovered the texts, Strzok was removed from the special counsel investigation — Page had already left the investigation by then – and both were demoted to human resources at the FBI.
Paul, a strong advocate for individual privacy, wrote the FBI earlier this year, asking whether Strzok and Page still had top secret security clearances and were able to access classified databases.
“In light of recent reports describing Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s extensive discussions, at work, of their political vendetta against President Donald Trump, I am concerned about their continued access to sensitive private information, such as that contained in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) databases,” Paul wrote FBI Director Christopher Wray on January 30, 2018.
“James Madison warned that men are not angels. The exposure of political bias at the FBI is exactly why many of us advocate for greater oversight of the FBI, especially since recently passed legislation leaves FISA Section 702 surveillance largely without checks and balances,” he wrote.
“If openly biased agents such as Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page still have access to classified databases, one might argue that the FBI’s internal controls are inadequate,” he added.
The FBI wrote him back the last week in March, but it is not clear when Paul received the letter.
“All FBI employees must maintain a Top Secret security clearance. Because of security concerns and law enforcement sensitivities, the FBI does not reveal the specific accesses granted to particular employees,” wrote Gregory Brower, assistant director of the FBI’s Office of Congressional Affairs.
Brower, who served at the FBI under the Obama administration and has been suspected of slow-rolling answers to Congress, stepped down on Friday.