by Chuck Ross
Former FBI official Peter Strzok defended the bureau’s surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page in an interview aired Sunday, attributing failures found in a government watchdog report to agents being “overworked.”
“I don’t think at all that it’s anything improper. You get people who are overworked, who make mistakes — and don’t get me wrong, inexcusable mistakes,” Strzok said in an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning.”
Strzok, the former FBI deputy chief of counterintelligence, was asked about a Justice Department inspector general’s report that blasted the FBI for a series of errors and omissions in applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against Carter Page.
The IG found 17 “significant” errors in the FISA applications, including omissions of exculpatory evidence and failure to investigating information in the infamous Steele dossier.
Strzok oversaw the Trump-Russia investigation, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane, and drafted the paperwork that authorized opening the probe on July 31, 2016.
He also lobbied aggressively to obtain the initial FISA warrant against Page, which was granted on Oct. 21, 2016.
Strzok sent an email on Oct. 14, 2016 entitled “Crossfire FISA” suggesting that then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe needed to contact the Justice Department to help authorize the FISA.
“At a minimum, that keeps the hurry the F up pressure on him,” Strzok wrote in the email.
The IG faulted the FBI for relying heavily on the unverified Steele dossier in the FISA application.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.