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

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

The special counsel examining alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election removed a top FBI investigator from his team for exchanging text messages with a colleague that expressed anti-Trump views, two US newspapers reported Saturday. The New York Times and Washington Post report that the agent, Peter Strzok, as the FBI's deputy head of counterintelligence, played a major role in the investigations into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as well as the possible links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. 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.

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

During this investigation, Strzok was allegedly involved in an extra-marital affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, according to The Washington Post. The FBI and the Office of the Special Counsel declined to comment.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sara Isgur Flores said in an email that "we disagree with the chairman's characterization and will continue to work with congressional committees to provide the information they request consistent with our national security responsibilities". For months, officials have refused to explain why Strzok was reassigned, but people familiar with the matter said it was ultimately Mueller's decision.

Trump and Flynn

Days later, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information on her private email server.

Robert Mueller removed an FBI agent from his investigation into alleged Russian election meddling, people briefed on the matter told USA media. Supporters of the president have pointed to Democratic campaign contributions by members of the special counsel team, and to the Uranium One deal with Russian Federation that Clinton's State Department helped approve, which happened while Mueller was Federal Bureau of Investigation director.

The DOJ is investigating the Strzok-led FBI investigation of the Clinton email scandal. Mueller was ramping up his investigation into Mr. Trump's former advisers, while also coming under criticism for putting many donors to Democratic candidates on his team.

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