Special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI’s top Russian counterintelligence investigators from his team after an internal probe found he sent messages that showed possible bias for Hillary Clinton and against President Trump, the special counsel’s office said Saturday.
Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server in 2016, left the special counsel’s team last summer. He sent the text messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who also left the Mueller investigation this past summer.
“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. “Lisa Page completed her brief detail and had returned to the FBI weeks before our office was aware of the allegations.”
The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General has been reviewing both the FBI’s and Justice handling of the Clinton probe, which cleared the Mrs. Clinton of criminal wrongdoing. The messages from Mr. Strzok were discovered in the course of that internal review.
Sources told the New York Times that the messages sent during the 2016 campaign appeared to be making fun of then-candidate Mr. Trump, and raised concerns that they could be seen as being pro-Clinton.
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.”