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Pressure building within DOJ as FBI director Wray ducks questions

FPI / May 21, 2020

FBI Director Christopher Wray has failed to responded to a letter from Reps. Jim Jordan and Mike Johnson seeking information and interviews with key FBI officials after revelations earlier this month suggested that FBI agents planned to interview Michael Flynn at the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”

FBI Director Christopher Wray. / C-SPAN

Jordan, Ohio Republican, and Johnson, Louisiana Republican, on Monday said Wray “has declined to respond” to their May 4 letter seeking interviews with key FBI officials Bill Priestap and Joe Pientka.

“Because Director Wray has declined to respond to our request, we are forced to write to you directly,” Jordan and Johnson wrote in a letter to Pientka, who participated in the Jan. 24, 2017 White House interview that led to Flynn’s prosecution for one count of making false statements to the FBI. The lawmakers requested Pientka sit for a transcribed interview with the House Judiciary Committee.

Fox News reported on May 18:

Fox News previously determined that Pientka also was intimately involved in the probe of former Trump aide Carter Page, which the DOJ has since acknowledged was riddled with fundamental errors and premised on a discredited dossier that the bureau was told could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Pientka was removed from the FBI’s website after Fox News contacted the FBI about his extensive role in Crossfire Hurricane Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) matters — a change first noticed by Twitter user Techno Fog — but sources said Pientka remained in a senior role at the agency’s San Francisco field office. The FBI told Fox News shortly before Pientka’s removal from the website that reporting on his identity could endanger his life, even though he serves in a prominent senior role at the bureau.

Jordan and Johnson sent a similar letter on Monday to an attorney for Priestap, the former assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump said he’s surprised Attorney General William Barr would not open a criminal probe into the Obamagate controversy.

Trump on Monday highlighted the latest evidence that he said shows former President Barack Obama played a key role in launching the Russia investigation. He also noted that Joe Biden was aware the probe into the 2016 Trump campaign was political and it was based off a false premise of Russian collusion.

Trump said: “I will say this, we have an honorable attorney general. Personally, I have no doubt, but he may have another feeling. I have no doubt that they (Obama and Biden) were involved in it. It’s a hoax. It started off with a Russian hoax. It went to a Ukraine hoax. It’s just a whole big disgrace and this country has better things to do.”

U.S. Attorney John Durham has continued to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia hoax and his report is expected to be released this summer.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton tweeted on May 19: “OUTRAGED: DOJ AWOL on #Obamagate crimes against @RealDonaldTrump. 13 months since Durham appointed, no prosecutions. Now, Barr alleges no evidence of Obama/Biden crimes despite evidence of crimes?”

FPI, Free Press International

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