Mueller removed investigator from team after discovering anti-Trump text messages

Posted December 04, 2017

Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of the Hillary Clinton email server as the No. 2 official in the FBI's counterintelligence division, left the Mueller team this past summer, multiple sources said.

Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI investigator, was shuffled off to the FBI's human resources department by Mueller after the Justice Department's inspector general opened an investigation into the texts, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

Trump has criticized the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation, initially citing it as his reason for firing former FBI director James Comey on May 9.

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The Times reported "Strzok and a colleague reacted to news events, like presidential debates, in ways that could appear critical of Mr. Trump".

"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the special counsel's office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", the office told the Times.

The Post has repeatedly sought comment from Strzok and Page, but got no response.

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Robert Mueller removed an FBI agent from his investigation into alleged Russian election meddling, people briefed on the matter told United States media. Mr. Horowitz is scrutinizing Mr. Comey's decision to hold a news conference in July 2016 to announce that the bureau was recommending that Mrs. Clinton not be charged, and how Mr. Comey reopened the investigation just days before the 2016 election. A Justice Department spokesperson stated: "We are aware of the allegation and are taking any and all appropriate steps".

The messages from Mr. Strzok were discovered in the course of that internal review. Nunes and other committee Republicans - backed by Speaker Paul Ryan - say they want to investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI may have improperly relied on the dossier to kick-start federal surveillance that caught up Trump associates, without independently confirming the information they used to justify such spying. Mueller has been looking into Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election since May.

On Saturday, following the reports about Strzok, the inspector general's office said in a statement that as part of its investigation, "the OIG has been reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them".

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