Mueller removed top Federal Bureau of Investigation agent over possible anti-Trump texts
Dec 04 2017
Strzok was reportedly reassigned this past summer from the Mueller investigation to the FBI's human resources department, according toThe Times.
The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators.
"In light of today's press reports, we now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the Federal Bureau of Investigation and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make Deputy Director McCabe available to the Committee for an interview", Nunes said.
"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the special counsel's office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel's office.
Confirmation of the agent's dismissal from his role on Mueller's team came after two reports surfaced that said the agent may have shared texts that were critical of President Donald Trump.
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.
As part of the intelligence committee's investigation into the Trump-Russia probe and the anti-Trump dossier, Nunes asked the Justice Department several times why Strzok had been removed from the investigation, according to the Washington Examiner. It quoted people familiar with the issue.
A lawyer for Strzok declined to comment.
The Justice Department 's Office of the Inspector General said in a statement Saturday that it has been "reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them".
Mr Trump wrote that after years under fired FBI director James Comey, "with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more)", the agency's reputation "is in Tatters - worst in History!"
Mueller is overseeing the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign.
Strzok was a major player in the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations. He sent the text messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who also left the Mueller investigation this past summer.