Special counsel Robert Mueller removed a veteran FBI agent from his team amid an investigation into the agent potentially sending anti-Trump text messages, according to new reports on Saturday.
Three people close to the matter told The New York Times that Mueller reassigned Peter Strzok from the team investigating Russia’s election meddling to the FBI’s human resources department.
Strzok is a veteran FBI investigator who previously worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State, as well as the investigation into potential connections between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.
The Times reported that Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team after the Department of Justice’s inspector general launched an investigation into text messages sent by the agent that could appear to contain anti-Trump views.
The agent reportedly exchanged text messages with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, whom he was dating, during the campaign and Clinton investigation that appeared to support the Democratic presidential candidate, people with knowledge of the matter told The Washington Post.
The Post could not reach Strzok or Page.
“Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation,” Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told The Hill. “Lisa Page completed her brief detail and had returned to the FBI weeks before our office was aware of the allegations.”
The news comes just one day after Mueller’s team charged former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn with lying to FBI agents. Flynn pleaded guilty to the charge.