The Lawfare Podcast: Pete Strzok on Declining FISAs and Human Source Handling

Jen Patja, Benjamin Wittes, Peter Strzok
Monday, October 25, 2021, 12:00 PM

Published by The Lawfare Institute
in Cooperation With

Pete Strzok is a former counter-intelligence official at the FBI. He is the author most recently of an article in Lawfare entitled, “The Sussmann Indictment, Human Source Handling, and the FBI’s Declining FISA Numbers.” It's an article that makes an interesting connection between a sentence in the indictment of Democratic lawyer Michael Sussmann and some data on FISA applications released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. They may seem unconnected, but Strzok argues that there may be a deep connection between the two, and he sat down with Benjamin Wittes to discuss it. They talked about the anomaly of the Sussmann indictment; about how it was the tip of a very large iceberg of investigations of officials, agents and analysts who worked on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation; and about the shocking decrease in the number of FISA orders issued over the length of the Trump presidency.

Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Benjamin Wittes is editor in chief of Lawfare and a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is the author of several books.
Peter Strzok served in the FBI from 1996 to 2018, rising to the deputy of its Counterintelligence Division. During his career, Mr. Strzok worked around the world against national security threats from China, Russia, Iran, Cuba and others, including countering state-sponsored disinformation, prosecuting acts of economic espionage and theft of intellectual property, and combatting the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Strzok is the recipient of the FBI’s highest investigative honor, the Director’s Award. Prior to the FBI, Mr. Strzok spent four years on active duty in the US Army’s 101 st Airborne Division. Mr. Strzok is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, from which he holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in international affairs. He is the New York Times bestselling author of "Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J Trump." He lives in northern Virginia with his family.

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