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04 December 2017, 12:56 | Simon Arnold
Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged politically charged texts disparaging Trump
Special counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the FBI's top Russian counterintelligence experts from his team of investigators after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be interpreted as showing political bias for Hillary Clinton and against President Donald Trump, according to U.S. officials briefed on the matter. The New York Times and Washington Post report that the agent, Peter Strzok, as the FBI's deputy head of counterintelligence, played a major role in the investigations into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server as well as the possible links between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.
Meanwhile, the inspector general's office at the Justice Department said the incident is part of a wider probe into how the FBI has handled investigations relating to the election.
Days later, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that he would not be recommending charges against Clinton for mishandling classified information on her private email server.
He cited "a months-long pattern by the DOJ and Federal Bureau of Investigation of stonewalling and obstructing this Committee's oversight work", including also withholding subpoenaed information about their use of an opposition research dossier that targeted Mr. Trump in the 2016 election.
The Office of the Inspector General is also reviewing Strzok's role in the Clinton email investigation, according to sources cited by Fox News. A Justice Department spokesperson stated: "We are aware of the allegation and are taking any and all appropriate steps".
Mueller is overseeing the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination with the Trump campaign. Strzok was re-assigned to the FBI's human resources department, a move many saw as a demotion. Some conservatives encouraged Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, saying the investigation was tainted.
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