Former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was a key figure in the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s purported use of a private email server, called President Donald Trump a “national security threat,” The New York Times reported.
Strzok is set to release a new book, Compromised, which will drop next week. The NYT received an advance copy, and reviewed some of the allegations within.
Specifically, the former FBI agent claimed that, in addition to conducting two potentially explosive matters relating to the presidency — Clinton’s emails and the alleged Russian attempts to undermine the 2016 presidential election — Strzok claims the agency considered investigating Trump himself.
The author claims that the matter came up in discussion early in Trump’s presidency, and that agents were also looking into people closely affiliated with the president.
“We needed to ask a question that had never before arisen in the entire 240-year history of our republic: whether the president of the United States himself might be acting as an agent of a foreign adversary,” Strzok wrote.
For his part, the former agent was initially opposed to investigating Trump, citing both “practical and philosophical arguments.” However, the FBI did indeed carry out an investigation into the president.
Strzok describes the first time he briefed Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the president’s purported actions.
“And on top of it all, at the pinnacle of this heap of perfidy and treachery, sat a president who had lied to the public, cozied up to Russia, and, once he became aware of them, attempted to block our investigation at every turn,” he wrote.
He contrasted the two investigations. The operation that investigated Clinton’s emails was given the name “Midyear Exam” internally, while the investigation into Trump’s purported Russia ties was called “Crossfire Hurricane.”
“Midyear was a mishandling case with little if any impact on national security. In contrast, Crossfire was looking into whether anyone in the Trump campaign was conspiring with the Russians — even up to the unlikely worst-case scenario that Trump was a Manchurian candidate,” he said.
Strzok was ultimately fired from the agency over a series of text messages he sent to another FBI employee, Lisa Page, in which he was openly critical of the president. This led to speculation that the “Crossfire” investigation might have been compromised by a biased agent, and he was let go.
In response, he has sued the Justice Department, claiming that his dismissal was politically motivated. He further denies that he was part of any agency effort to damage the president.