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

Mueller Reportedly Removed FBI Agent from Investigation Due to Anti-Trump Texts

Robert Mueller kicked a "top FBI agent" off the special counsel investigation this summer over potential anti-Trump texts he sent, per a new report today.

Mueller was appointed in May to lead the Justice Department's investigation into whether President Trump or any of his associates colluded with Russian during the 2016 White House race. He sent the text messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who also left the Mueller investigation this past summer.

The messages from Mr. Strzok were discovered in the course of that internal review.

"By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russian Federation collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress' constitutional oversight responsibility", he said. Although Strzok's departure from the investigation was reported by ABC News in August, the reason behind the move was unclear until now.

"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the special counsel's office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", the office told the Times. Page, who was an Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer before joining the special counsel team, left the team to return to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in July, the special counsel's office confirmed weeks later.

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The New York Times and The Washington Post earlier Saturday reported on the messages and the removal of Strzok.

"The DOJ has now expressed - on a Saturday, just hours after the press reports on Strzok's dismissal appeared - a sudden willingness to comply with some of the committee's long-standing demands", Nunes said. Republicans in the House of Representatives have put forward measures to limit the special counsel probe or have called for his ousting or resignation. But following the news, analysts pointed out that his reassignment suggests that Mueller has worked to avoid any conflicts of interest.

Investigators from the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General have been reviewing both the FBI's and the Justice Department's handling of the Clinton probe, which cleared the former Democratic presidential candidate of criminal wrongdoing, sources said.

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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