In yet another blow to Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, the special counsel was forced to fire a top FBI agent after possible anti-Trump text messages were discovered.
New York Times reports:
The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, removed a top F.B.I. agent from his investigation into Russian election meddling after the Justice Department’s inspector general began examining whether the agent had sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political views, according to three people briefed on the matter. The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators. He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. But Mr. Strzok was reassigned this summer from
In August, ABC News reported that Strzok quit Team Mueller for unknown reasons. “It’s unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller’s team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staff. Strzok, who has spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division,” reported Mike Levine.
Late Saturday night, we learn the Department of Justice has launched a review of Peter Stzrok’s role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Fox News reports:
Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department’s Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Stzrok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.
Reacting to Strzok’s ‘anti-Trump,’ texts, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) said, “We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview.”
Strzok played a key role in analyzing the infamous ‘Trump dossier,’ supplied by shady research firm Fusion GPS. The now disgraced FBI agent used disproven elements of the dossier to spy on members of the Trump campaign.
Fox News report:
House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump “dossier” and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.
The “dossier” was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm’s bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. […]Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was “documentary evidence” that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.