Top FBI agent removed from Mueller's team over anti-Trump texts

Saul Bowman
December 4, 2017

Special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI's top Russian counterintelligence experts from his team of investigators after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be interpreted as showing political bias for Hillary Clinton and against President Donald Trump, according to United States officials briefed on the matter.

Meanwhile, Mueller continues to lead the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, despite a complete lack of evidence that Russia interfered in the process in any way.

As part of the intelligence committee's investigation into the Trump-Russia probe and the anti-Trump dossier, Nunes asked the Justice Department several times why Strzok had been removed from the investigation, according to the Washington Examiner.

The Post reported that Strzok and Page exchanged texts that were anti-Trump and pro-Clinton.

A spokesperson for Mueller's office said, "Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the special counsel's office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation".

Agent Peter Strzok is considered one of the most experienced investigators in the FBI and previously assisted with the Hillary Clinton email investigation, before moving on to investigate Russia's interference in the election. The two were involved in a romantic relationship, the Post reported.

"The DOJ has now expressed - on a Saturday, just hours after the press reports on Strzok's dismissal appeared - sudden willingness to comply with some of the Committee's long-standing demands", Nunes said.

Though, Fox News reports the role Strzok played in the Clinton investigation may now be under review at the Department of Justice. They said he was deeply trusted by former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, and he would have likely become one of the FBI's top officials if issues had not been raised surrounding the text messages. But following the news, analysts pointed out that his reassignment suggests that Mueller has worked to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Strzok was reportedly reassigned this past summer from the Mueller investigation to the FBI's human resources department, according to The Times.

The inquiry into Mr. Strzok is being conducted by the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, who is leading a broad examination of how the F.B.I. handled the Clinton email investigation.

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