Ex-Overstock CEO Byrne Reveals FBI's Peter Strzok Manipulated Him For 'Political Espionage'

Former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne claimed in a bombshell interview with Fox Business that he received "fishy" orders from former FBI official Peter Strzok

Byrne, who admitted to helping the "men in black" on two previous occasions - a murder case and Wall Street investigations - said that the Obama DOJ was conducting "political espionage" on both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, according to Fox News

Byrne said that all of the purported information he gleaned from his experiences ultimately landed in the hands of Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has been conducting an investigation into the origins of the Russia probe at the behest of Attorney General William Barr. -Fox News

The 56-year-old Byrne also told Fox's Martha MacCallum "I was given some fishy orders and I carried them out in 2015-2016, thinking I was conducting law enforcement," adding "I didn't know who sent the orders, but I did them. Last summer, watching television and some congressional hearings, I figured out where these orders came from. They came from a guy named Peter Strzok."

Then, Byrne told CNN that the FBI directed him to pursue a romantic relationship with accused Russian spy Maria Butina

"Eventually, yes they did," the former Overstock CEO told host Chris Cuomo in response to the question of whether they "told you you needed to have romantic relationship with somebody."

"It was so strange that I was thinking, it’s almost like they’re letting this can-o-scandal develop and someday they’re going to shake it up and crack it and spray it all over the Republican Party," said Byrne, who added that the FBI ordered him to break up with Butina - only to ask him to rekindle their romance in the summer of 2016 during the Russian election meddling probe. 

"They came back to me and said, ‘Boy, what a mistake we made. Russia, you’re right … highest national priority," said Byrne. 

"They said, ‘We want to be clear – this never happens in the United States," Byrne added. "'We are the good guys. We don’t work like the bad guys, but we need to ask you to rekindle a romantic relationship with Maria Butina.'

Butina was sentenced to 18 months in prison for acting "under direction of" a Russian official and banker Alexander Torshin to infiltrate American political groups like the NRA and promote Russian's interests in the USA. 

Following Byrne's interview with MacCallum, she asked former Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to respond, to which he said: "He's describing it like he was being used as a source and being inserted into a situation by the feds, and there are protocols for handling sources," adding "All of this can be corroborated. That's the key. This whole situation has to be corroborated and the nice thing about John Durham is that he has the full picture of everything that was feeding into this investigation."

Byrne resigned as Overstock CEO on Thursday effective immediately, after he disclosed his entanglements with the "Deep State." 

"While I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm, I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock," Byrne wrote in a lengthy 1,600-word letter.

The letter opened with two quotes, one stating the founder is "already far too controversial to serve as CEO" and the other simply noting "do not wish to disrupt possible strategic discussions."