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BY: Bill Gertz
Disclosures by the Justice Department inspector general of political bias among FBI agents is focusing new attention on problems within the FBI's once-storied counterintelligence division.
Report - Inspector - General - Michael - E
The report by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz reveals evidence of politicization among senior FBI officials, notably the text message by Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Peter Strzok suggesting Strzok was willing to use official counterintelligence powers to "stop" Donald Trump from becoming president in the 2016 election campaign.
FBI counterintelligence, the mission of identifying and countering foreign spies, for decades operated as a distinct specialty for FBI agents trained to deal with spies rather than fighting criminals and terrorists.
FBI - Counterspy - Strzok - Power - Access
As a senior FBI counterspy, Strzok wields significant power through access to intelligence information held in secret FBI databases and through court-ordered surveillance.
Another sign of counterintelligence problems at the FBI was the disclosure in the IG report that the FBI did not take any action against Russian meddling in the 2016 election until late September 2016 – despite the fact that Moscow's operations had been underway since 2015.
Report - Director - James - Comey - Counterintelligence
The report said then-FBI Director James Comey directed the Counterintelligence Division to conduct a "multi-faceted effort" to protect the election from foreign interference.
"This tasking included the implementation of ‘a national supply chain risk management effort to identify vulnerabilities in voting infrastructure,' engaging state election officials about potential threats, the investigation of ‘whether foreign adversaries were attempting to interfere with or improperly influence the' 2016 election, and the investigation of certain U.S. persons’ contacts with foreign adversaries," the report said.
FBI - Officials - September - Counter-interference - Operation
FBI officials said the late September counter-interference operation was one reason the FBI delayed re-opening the email probe after several hundred thousand new emails were discovered on the laptop of Anthony Wiener, husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin.
The IG report made public last week reveals that several FBI counterintelligence officials,...
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