Sunday, 17 December, 2017

Federal Bureau of Investigation official removed from probe for anti-Trump remarks

Mueller Reportedly Removed FBI Agent from Investigation Due to Anti-Trump Texts Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged politically charged texts disparaging Trump
Dexter Carr | 04 December, 2017, 00:55

The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed a top investigator amid allegations that he had sent text messages appearing critical of President Donald Trump, the office confirmed to The New York Times on Saturday.

"I am concerned, however, that our chairman is willing to use the subpoena and contempt power of the House, not to determine how the Russians interfered in our election or whether the president obstructed Justice, but only to distract from the core of our investigation", Schiff said.

According to The New York Times, Peter Strzok not only "helped lead" the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, but he "played a major role" in the Trump-Russia investigation.

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

The exact nature of the text messages has not been made public, but defenders of Strzok and Page have reportedly called the allegations "overblown" and said there wasn't any misconduct.

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ABC News reported back in August that Strzok had left the investigation, but said at the time "it's unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller's team of almost two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staffers".

The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators. "Lisa Page completed her brief detail and had returned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation weeks before our office was aware of the allegations".

Current and former law enforcement officials who worked with Strzok - who remains assigned to the FBI's human resources department - told the Times that they are unaware of any incidents in which the agent allowed his political views to influence investigations. The two were involved in a romantic relationship, the Post reported.

One of the only times I've ever seen my father, a career military man and Vietnam veteran, express genuine concern over the direction of our country was in the wake of the FBI's fall from grace under James Comey.

Meanwhile, the inspector general's office at the Justice Department said the incident is part of a wider probe into how the FBI has handled investigations relating to the election. During a House Oversight Committee hearing in November, Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the probe was ongoing and that he expects to release the final report in March or April of 2018.

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