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Notes of an FBI briefing in March 2017 indicate since-fired bureau agent Peter Strzok spread incorrect details about the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
Strzok incorrectly claimed in his 2020 book, Compromised, that Australian diplomat Alexander Downer was spurred to inform the U.S. government about a May 2016 conversation he had in London with George Papadopoulos (in which the Trump campaign associate allegedly mentioned Russia might have dirt on Hillary Clinton) only after hearing then-candidate Donald Trump say in July 2016: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails.”
The article goes on to state the following:
It now appears he also made that false claim in March 2017 when briefing Justice Department and FBI officials about the Trump-Russia investigation. Strzok admitted in September 2020 he had gotten that detail wrong in his book, though he downplayed it.
The Examiner notes that Australia informed the United States of the Papadopoulos conversation on July 26, 2016 and that Trump made the comment about Russia on July 27, according to the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Yet in the newly released handwritten notes reportedly taken by Tashina Gauhar, the associate deputy attorney general at the time, Strzok continued to make the same misleading claim that Trump’s remarks caused Downer to reach out to the FBI on March 6, 2017.
Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott Schools indicates in notes that Strzok was the one who “handled the Papadopoulos angle of the briefing,” the Examiner reports.
“Papadopoulos … May 2016 … Friendly Liaison that Papadopoulos said Trump campaign could release info hurtful to H [Hillary Clinton] … Make a report & file it,” Gauhar wrote. “Then see release of DNC hack + Trump comment about Russia release more … Foreign Service remembers conversation + reaches out to FBI.”
Schools’ notes match that. Schools wrote: “PS [Peter Strzok]: Papadopoulos in May. Trump team received suggestion from R [Russia] that it could assist Trump team by having info that would embarrass Clinton and Obama. We start seeing release of DNC hack. Trump if you’re listening. We open up umbrella investigation — Crossfire Hurricane.”
NEW: Strzok has admitted his 2020 book wrongly claimed Australia told U.S. about Papadopoulos convo (FBI cited to open Trump-Russia inquiry) becuz Trump said “Russia if you're listening…” Now notes from March 2017 indicate Strzok pushed the lie then too…https://t.co/naQdaNRvbk
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) May 9, 2022
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