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Mueller removed top Federal Bureau of Investigation agent over possible anti-Trump texts

02 Décembre 2017

Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the Justice Department's Russian Federation collusion investigation, removed an FBI agent from the case over possible anti-Trump tweets, Fox News confirmed Saturday.

The Washington Post reported that Peter Strzok, the deputy head of counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, exchanged text messages with Federal Bureau of Investigation lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he had an extramarital affair.

As chief of the FBI's counterespionage section a year ago, he helped oversee the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server when she was the secretary of state, and he took part in the bureau's interview of her.

Strzok was taken off the Mueller probe in August after the texts came to light while Page reportedly left the team in July before any issues were raised, The Washington Post reported. He is now working for the FBI's human resources division. Mueller was ramping up his investigation into Mr. Trump's former advisers, while also coming under criticism for putting many donors to Democratic candidates on his team.

The Times reported that he exchanged the texts with someone who worked alongside him on the Clinton investigation, with whom he had an extramarital relationship.

The Clinton investigation formally ended in July 2016, when 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.

Trump and Flynn
Mueller removed top Federal Bureau of Investigation agent over possible anti-Trump texts

On Saturday, the Justice Department's inspector general's office released a statement confirming that it was continuing to review unspecified allegations made about the department's and the FBI's actions "in advance of the 2016 election".

The Times noted that the text messages between Strzok and his colleague could help back Trump's claims that the FBI has been biased against him, even though Mueller moved quickly to pull Strzok from the Russian Federation investigation.

Trump also has criticized the FBI for its handling of the Clinton email investigation, and fired Comey as FBI chief after complaining that he'd mishandled the probe.

Reports suggest that Mueller, who ran the FBI from 2001 until 2013, knows any illusion that his team holds unfair political biases could sever the public's trust in the investigation. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said that "we are aware of the allegation and are taking any and all appropriate steps".

Inspector general Michael Horowitz is leading a broader examination of the FBI's investigation of Clinton's emails.

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Mueller removed top Federal Bureau of Investigation agent over possible anti-Trump texts