Friday, 15 December, 2017

FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over anti-Trump messages

Mueller Reportedly Removed FBI Agent from Investigation Due to Anti-Trump Texts Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged politically charged texts disparaging Trump
Howard Terry | 04 December, 2017, 00:41

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.

Robert Mueller removed an FBI agent from his investigation into alleged Russian election meddling, people briefed on the matter told USA media. He was reportedly reassigned from the investigation to the FBI's human resources department, a move which is largely seen within the bureau as a demotion.

"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", Special Counsel's Office spokesperson Peter Carr told BuzzFeed News.

Nunes and the committee had known about Strzok's removal for months, but not the reasons for it, which were only revealed on Saturday in what York suggested was an "orchestrated leak" to the Times and the Post.

The people discussing the matter did not further describe the political messages between Strzok and Page, except to say the two would sometime react to campaign news of the moment.

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.

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

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".

President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning, "After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters".

Mueller and his team are broadly investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election, including whether Trump campaign aides's colluded with the Russians.

During the Clinton email investigation, Page was a regular participant when Comey would hold "skinny group" meetings on the case - a small collection of advisers that gathered to address sensitive cases, according to people familiar with the case.

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