Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Probe Over Anti-Trump Messages : NPR

 In U.S.

Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in June at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Alex Wong/Getty Images


hide caption

toggle caption

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller leaves after a closed meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee in June at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Updated at 9:14 p.m. ET

The office of special counsel Robert Mueller removed an FBI agent from the team investigating Russia’s interference in last year’s election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Washington Post and the New York Times both reported Saturday.

Agent Peter Strzok exchanged politically-charged text messages with Lisa Page, who was also a member of Mueller’s investigative team at the time; the messages expressed anti-Trump views, according to both newspapers.


“Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, said in a statement. “Lisa Page completed her brief detail and had returned to the FBI weeks before our office was aware of the allegations.”

Separately, a Justice Department spokeswoman said, “we are aware of the allegations and are taking any and all appropriate steps.”

Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team during the summer of this year and has since been assigned to the FBI’s human resources department, according to the newspapers. Page is a lawyer for the bureau who once worked for FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe but no longer does much work for McCabe, the Post reported. In addition to both having worked on Mueller’s probe, Strzok and Page also both had roles in the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, according to the Post.


The reports of Strzok’s removal came just a day after Mueller’s team revealed a plea deal with Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser.

Given Flynn’s proximity to Trump during last year’s presidential race and to Trump’s inner circle until his ouster in February of this year, the agreement with Flynn and his cooperation in the Mueller probe signaled to many observers that the Justice Department’s investigation has entered a new phase — with a possible focus on those closest to the president or perhaps even Donald Trump himself.


Speaking Saturday about Flynn’s plea deal, the president reiterated that there had been no coordination between his campaign and Russia. “What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion,” Trump said, “There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy.”

Despite his assertions throughout this year that there was no wrongdoing by himself or anyone associated with his campaign, Trump has been critical of Mueller’s probe and the FBI generally. The president has also continued his longstanding criticism of the FBI’s Clinton email server investigation which Trump initially cited as his reason for firing FBI Director James Comey in May of this year.

Recent Posts
Get Breaking News Delivered to Your Inbox
Join over 2.3 million subscribers. Get daily breaking news directly to your inbox as they happen.
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
Get Latest News in Facebook
Never miss another breaking news. Click on the "LIKE" button below now!