A senior Federal Bureau of Investigation official was removed from the Russian Federation election meddling probe for sending text messages critical of President Donald Trump, the Washington Post reported Saturday. He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump's campaign and Russian Federation.
According to the report, Strzok was transferred to the FBI's human resources department in the summer after text messages between him and a colleague were discovered, in which they criticized Trump.
Strzok had also worked on the FBI's inquiry into whether former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on a private email server, The Times and The Post reported.
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.
"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation", Special Counsel's Office spokesperson Peter Carr told BuzzFeed News.
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The precise content of Strzok's text messages is unknown, and it remains unclear whether Horowitz will make them public. Page reportedly left Mueller's team in July and no longer works with McCabe, while Strzok was removed from Mueller's team in August and subsequently reassigned to the FBI's HR department in an apparent demotion.
A lawyer for Mr. Strzok declined to comment.
Justice Department spokeswoman Sara Isgur Flores said in an email that "we disagree with the chairman's characterization and will continue to work with congressional committees to provide the information they request consistent with our national security responsibilities".
Meanwhile, Mueller continues to lead the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, despite a complete lack of evidence that Russia interfered in the process in any way. Some conservatives encouraged Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, saying the investigation was tainted.
The Office of the Inspector General is also reviewing Strzok's role in the Clinton email investigation, according to sources cited by Fox News.