Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Probe For Anti-Trump Text Messages

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

The Washington Post reported Saturday that while Strzok was working on the Clinton email investigation, he exchanged texts expressing anti-Trump sentiment with an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, with whom the Post said he was engaging in an extramarital affair.

The Times also reported that Strzok relied on information provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by Christopher Steele, the former British spy who was hired by an opposition research firm working for the Clinton campaign to investigate Trump's Russian Federation activities.

The agent has been identified as Peter Strzok, one of the agency's most experienced and trusted counterintelligence investigators, said the New York Times, which first reported the dismissal.

On Saturday, the inspector general's office confirmed to BuzzFeed reporter Jason Leopold that it is reviewing the allegations "between certain individuals", as part of its larger review of the FBI's activities before and after the election.

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

The president has also singled out the F.B.I.'s deputy director, Andrew McCabe, whose wife in 2015 ran for a State Senate seat in Virginia as a Democrat and accepted almost $500,000 in contributions from the political organization of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of the Clintons.

The exact nature of the text messages has not been made public, but defenders of Strzok and Page have reportedly called the allegations "overblown" and said there wasn't any misconduct.

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The statement didn't refer to any agents or officials by name.

He was removed from Mueller's team this summer, the reports indicated.

In July 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey announced he would recommend Clinton face no charges for her use of a private email server as secretary of state.

The text messages were discovered when Mueller was building his investigation into Trump's former advisors and while the special counsel, a former FBI director, was being criticized for putting several people who had donated to Democratic candidates on his investigation team.

The reports come after Trump's former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty in federal court Friday for lying to the FBI over an exchange with the Russian ambassador.

According to the Washington Post, Strzok's actions may have influenced other investigations, such as the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's illegal e-mail use.

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