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

An FBI official assigned to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was removed this summer after his bosses discovered texts shared with another official attacking President Donald Trump.

In his statement Saturday, Nunes pointed to the reports that the official, Peter Strzok, was removed after allegedly having exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with a friend, who was an FBI lawyer working for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.

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. When Mr. Trump fired his F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, in May, he initially cited his handling of the Clinton email investigation as the reason for his dismissal.

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", Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, confirmed to Fox News. "Just more Fake News covering another Comey lie!"

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

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The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators.

He was the FBI's lead investigator on the Clinton email investigation, so much so that he interviewed the former secretary of state on July 2, 2016.

The allegations came to light after the Justice Department's inspector general started examining Strzok's messages.

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". The Times said he was reassigned to the human resources department at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and that he is still there. Some conservatives encouraged Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, saying the investigation was tainted. Mueller has been looking into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election since May.

However, the President later backed down.


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