Published: Mon, December 04, 2017
World | By Camille Rivera

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

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

Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who was assigned to the Mueller investigation, received the messages. The people briefed on the case said the transfer followed the discovery of text messages in which Mr. Strzok and a colleague reacted to news events, like presidential debates, in ways that could appear critical of Mr. Trump.

The texts came up during an investigation into how the FBI handled (or mishandled) the Clinton's email inquiry, which is being led by the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael Horowitz.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has instructed his staff to draw up a contempt of Congress citation for FBI Director Christopher Wray and his deputy, Rod Rosenstein, after it was revealed Saturday that a top FBI agent was removed from the Trump-Russia investigation for possible anti-Trump bias.

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"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office.

He was reassigned last summer to the FBI's human resources department after the Justice Department's inspector general began looking into the text messages, the papers said, quoting several unidentified people familiar with the matter.

Strzok's attorney refused to comment on the publication. Rumors over the cause of Strzok's removal have swirled for months.

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The Clinton investigation formally ended in July 2016, when former FBI Director James B. Comey announced he would recommend Clinton face no charges for her use of a private email server as Secretary of State.

Despite his assertions throughout this year that there was no wrongdoing by himself or anyone associated with his campaign, Trump has been critical of Mueller's probe and the Federal Bureau of Investigation generally. But the issue was resurrected in late October, when Comey informed congressional leaders that the FBI had discovered new Clinton emails on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner, then the subject of a separate FBI investigation.

Some of the lawyers working for Mueller had donated to Hillary Clinton, and one had even done work for the Clinton Foundation, which was a target of the Trump campaign during the election (and may have been under investigation by the FBI as well). Page worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who conservatives have long complained had a conflict of interest because his wife received campaign funding from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, a close ally of the Clintons for decades.

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