FBI officials spied on a Fox News executive in early 2017 as part of the corrupt Crossfire Hurricane investigation that targeted President Trump and his associates, newly declassified messages reveal.
Internal FBI messages from fired FBI agent Peter Strzok—released by Senate Republicans on Thursday—reveal that the Bureau surveilled and recorded a phone call between former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos and an unnamed vice president at Fox News weeks before President Trump was inaugurated.
“Breaking: the Comey FBI was wiretapping my phone calls with the VP of Fox News,” Papadopoulos tweeted, referring to fired FBI director James Comey.
Breaking: the Comey FBI was wiretapping my phone calls with the VP of Fox News
— George Papadopoulos (@GeorgePapa19) December 17, 2020
The texts also reveal that Strzok saw the now discredited Democrat-funded Steele dossier as a way to “influence” the media.
“Looking at the Yahoo article, I would definitely say at a minimum Steele’s reports should be viewed as intended to influence as well as to inform,” Strzok wrote on Sept. 23, 2016, suggesting that he was aware that former British spy Christopher Steele had improperly leaked bogus intel to reporter Michael Isikoff for his now debunked Yahoo! News story. Shamefully, the FBI continued to work with Steele for another month anyway and did not disclose the ex-spy’s contact with journalists to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).
Back in October, Senators Ron Johnson (R., Wisc.) and Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) urged Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray to declassify the documents. The Justice Department finally did so on December 1, according to the Federalist.
Agents were targeting former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos, codenamed “Crossfire Typhoon,” who later pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents during the Russian collusion investigation. The FBI used the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, as a legal pretext to investigate and spy on Papadopoulos, as well as former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and former Trump affiliate Carter Page.
An FBI official gave Strzok a heads up about the phone call between the Fox News exec and Papadopoulos.
“I know you’re not point on this anymore, but [George Papadopoulos] got a call from the VP at Fox News yesterday, who advised that the government was conducting ‘checks’ on him a few months back,” an unidentified individual whose name is redacted in the report texted to Strzok on January 12, 2017. “I haven’t listed to the exact audio, but I’m guess[ing] that’s the FARA checks that we did with DOJ on our 4 main guys; especially given the article that you pushed yesterday.”
The Obama administration previously targeted former Fox News Washington Correspondent James Rosen in 2010, falsely claiming that the Fox reporter was a potential terrorist co-conspirator in order to track Rosen’s movements, telephone records, and personal e-mails. According to Fox News, the Obama White House even seized records containing the phone numbers of Rosen’s parents over the course of the federal inquisition into Rosen. The Obama DOJ falsely accused Rosen of violating the Espionage Act, suggesting that he was a traitor to the U.S. in order to get access to his phone calls and e-mails.
By 2017, the deep state actors in Obama’s espionage regime were old hands at skirting laws designed to protect American citizens from government snooping, and they deployed their expertise to spy on Papa-D and the unnamed Fox News exec.
Because the Obama DOJ never received a warrant to spy on Papadopoulos, it is likely that the FBI used a so-called National Security Letter to spy on Papadopoulos, and Fox News. By using a National Security Letter, a demand sent to telecommunications firms to provide communications information about a specific federal target, Obama’s DOJ and FBI were able to avoid legal requirements to receive a court-approved warrant to secretly spy on an American citizen.
Strzok was fired from the FBI in August of 2018 after his text messages with his paramour, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, were discovered by the DOJ inspector general showing them scheming to use the Russia collusion hoax as an “insurance policy” to get oust Trump in the event he became president.