Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday, seeking more information about heavily-redacted documents. Senator Johnson revealed new information under some of the redacted text messages between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and reiterated his May 11 inquiry concerning the FBI redactions of material pertinent to the committee’s oversight.
The Weekly Standard’s Eric Felten recently gave us a look at “the the aggressive and laughably inept redactions executed by the intelligence community’s Sharpie-pen brigade” in connection with the House Intelligence Committee Report on its Russia probe. It reminded Felten of the maliciously comic way Yossarian approached his job of censoring hospitalized soldiers’ mail in Catch 22.
Senator Johnson’s staff has now filled in some of the redactions in previously produced documents based on one of those double secret reviews of less redacted copies generously permitted by the FBI. Based on this peek behind some of the redactions, Senator Johnson found “highly questionable” instances without any apparent legitimate reason. He also found redactions including what appear to be the initials of Department of Justice or FBI employees. Here Senator Johnson notes that the redactions obstruct appropriate follow-up. BO and LC loom large in these redactions.
In the conclusion of his letter, Senator Johnson draws on one of Strzok’s text messages demonstrating “the unfortunate attitude that some individuals at the highest levels of the FBI appear to have toward Congress” (footnote omitted). On this point, see Eric Felten’s article documenting “Adam Schiff’s unrequited love for the FBI.” It’s becoming a very old story.