The former top Federal Bureau of Investigation official assigned to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller's team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supportive of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.
"I am concerned, however, that our chairman is willing to use the subpoena and contempt power of the House, not to determine how the Russians interfered in our election or whether the president obstructed Justice, but only to distract from the core of our investigation", Schiff said.
The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton...
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It is still not known what Strzok mentioned in the text messages.
A spokesperson for Mueller's office said, "Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the special counsel's office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation".
The New York Times and The Washington Post earlier Saturday reported on the messages and the removal of Strzok. 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. Trump has called the probe a "witch hunt", while Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the accusation is the result of Clinton's supporters not wanting to admit the Democratic candidate has only herself to blame for losing the election.
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Peter Strzok, a veteran FBI investigator, was shuffled off to the FBI's human resources department by Mueller after the Justice Department's inspector general opened an investigation into the texts, The New York Times reported on Saturday. During a House Oversight Committee hearing in November, Inspector General Michael Horowitz said the probe was ongoing and that he expects to release the final report in March or April of 2018.
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