Mueller Reassigned Top FBI Agent in Russia Probe over anti-Trump Texts

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

A top FBI agent at the center of both the Clinton email and Trump-Russia investigations was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team for exchanging derogatory text messages about the president with a colleague.

Strzok played a key role in the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, the papers said.

You can read the whole report here.

The New York Times identified Strzok earlier this year as the agent tapped by FBI brass to supervise the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

A spokesperson for Mueller's team confirmed to BuzzFeed News that Strzok was no longer assigned part of the investigation. The FBI sometimes parks agents in the human resources department, the agent explained, when they need to be reassigned quickly away from substantive matters.

"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", spokesman Peter Carr said.

The FBI declined to comment.

Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe, and the FBI more broadly, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized how the F.B.I. handled the Clinton email investigation, saying that Mrs. Clinton should have been charged.

The DOJ is investigating the Strzok-led FBI investigation of the Clinton email scandal.

The discovery of the text messages came at a crucial moment in Mr. Mueller's investigation.

But the issue was resurrected in late October, when Comey informed congressional leaders that the FBI had discovered new Clinton emails on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner, then the subject of a separate FBI investigation.

This story will be updated if there is a presidential response specifically about Strzok.

Given Flynn's proximity to Trump during last year's presidential race and to Trump's inner circle until his ouster in February of this year, the agreement with Flynn and his cooperation in the Mueller probe signaled to many observers that the Justice Department's investigation has entered a new phase - with a possible focus on those closest to the president or perhaps even Donald Trump himself.

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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