National Security

Paul asks FBI for info on Peter Strzok’s and Lisa Page’s level of access

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is calling on the FBI to release information related to the two FBI officials who sent text messages disparaging President Trump, including their current level of access within the agency.

Paul sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday calling for him to turn over information about the security clearances of FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page and asked to be informed whether they continue to have access to classified materials or databases.

“In light of recent reports describing Peter Strzok and Lisa Page’s extensive discussion, at work, of their political vendetta against President Donald Trump,” Paul wrote in part, “I am concerned about their continued access to sensitive private information, such as that contained in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) databases.”{mosads}

Paul, a privacy hawk, expressed concern that the two officials — if they still maintain proper clearance — may abuse their access to such information, particularly with the databases of the nation’s recently reauthorized controversial U.S. surveillance programs.

“Do Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page still have security clearances? Do Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page have the ability to search FISA data or other classified databases?” he asked Wray.

Special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok and Page from his ongoing Russia probe last year after an investigation revealed that they had sent texts messages criticizing Trump,as well as other political figures, during the election.

Paul, as well as a handful of Republican lawmakers, say their back-and-forth reveals a political bias against the president within the top levels of the government, with many declaring that there needs to be more oversight of such government agencies.

“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,” Paul wrote.

Some GOP lawmakers have particularly homed in on the fact that the two agents not only served on Mueller’s probe looking into whether Trump campaign aides colluded with the Kremlin but also were involved in the federal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information with an email server as secretary of State.

Paul asked whether the FBI “routinely analyzes searches of databases by agents to ensure that such searches are not done for political or personal reasons,” citing a National Security Agency report that revealed that some agents used such databases to look up information about their spouses, among others.

“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,” Paul concluded.

Tags Department of Justice Donald Trump FBI Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Hillary Clinton nsa Rand Paul Rand Paul Robert Mueller Security clearance Special counsel
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