Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s top FBI investigator into ‘Russian meddling’ and Clinton emails has been removed from the probe reportedly due to the discovery of anti-Trump text messages exchanged with a colleague (whom he happened to be having an extra-marital affair with).
FBI veteran, Peter Strzok, considered “one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintel investigators” according to the NYT, and who was tapped by Mueller to help lead the probe of Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election, after helping lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, has left Mueller’s team.
Mueller 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 sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political views. https://t.co/Cdrlq6uwSy
— Michael S. Schmidt (@nytmike) December 2, 2017
As ABC reported in August, when Strzok’s departure was first noticed, this was the first known hitch in a secretive probe that, by all public accounts, is charging full steam ahead. ABC reported that it was unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller’s team of nearly two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staffers. Strzok, who had spent much of his law enforcement career working counterintelligence cases and has been unanimously praised by government officials who spoke with ABC News, was moved the FBI’s human resources division. The move prompted many questions about why one of the FBI’s top investigators was being reassigned.
We now know the answer: anonymous sources close to the matter told The Washington Post that Strzok was removed from the investigation after the Justice Department’s inspector general began examining whether the agent had sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political views, three people briefed on the matter told the WaPo.
In a rare, on the record statement to the media, the Special Counsel’s office effectively admitted that the head investigator into both Clinton and Trump was tainted: “Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation.”
More from the WaPo:
During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messagesthe two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.
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.
Officials are now reviewing the communications to see if they show evidence of political bias in their work on the cases, a review which could result in a public report, according to people familiar with the matter.
At the time they left Mueller’s group, no one publicly linked the two departures. For months, officials have refused to explain why Strzok was reassigned, but people familiar with the matter said it was ultimately Mueller’s decision.
As WaPo concludes, the president’s most vociferous defenders in Congress have called for a special counsel to investigate how the FBI handled the Clinton probe, and other Clinton-connected matters. Word of the texts could give new fuel to those demands.
For those confused, what this means is that the “professional, impartial, objective” FBI agent tasked with not only uncovering fraud and/or problems with Hillary’s abuse of a personal email server and was then charged with finding dirt on Donald Trump in his “Russian collusion”, was himself a member of the “resistance.”
No wonder Comey’s “recommendation” was to leave Hillary alone, while personally leaking his own, confidential data to the NYT in hopes of starting the Russia proble and ultimately getting Trump impeached. One does wonder, however, just when will all this anti-Trump bias running across the FBI and CIA be noted, and when truly objective investigations finally take place.
Furthermore, we suspect Page and Strzok were not alone in their anti-Trumpedness, but we do note that the implicitly pro-Trump ‘leak’ of these Mueller-probe-embarrassing details is a radical sea-change from the usual torrent of ‘gotcha’ leaks emanating from the NSA/CIA/FBI designed to further the Deep State’s grip on the administration.
* * *