Here's How Much The Mueller Investigation Has Reportedly Cost So Far
- Author: Megan Austin Dec 04, 2017,
Dec 04, 2017, 0:55
Yesterday (Saturday), the New York Times reported that special counsel Robert Mueller, who is in charge of the Russian Federation probe, removed a senior-level FBI agent from the investigation team due to concerns that he sent text messages against US President Donald Trump.
In his statement Saturday, Nunes pointed to the reports that the official, Peter Strzok, was removed after allegedly having exchanged anti-Trump and pro-Hillary Clinton text messages with a friend, who was an FBI lawyer working for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
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.
The people who were briefed on the reassignment said it was due to the "discovery of text messages in which Strzok and a colleague reacted to news events, like presidential debates, in ways that could appear critical of Trump".
"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.
The messages from Mr. Strzok were discovered in the course of that internal review.
Uber says 2.7m Brits hit by breach that was covered up
It involved names, mobile-phone numbers and email addresses, the ride-hailing firm told the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).
A lawyer for Mr. Strzok declined to comment.
The inquiry into Mr. Strzok is being conducted by the Justice Department's inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, who is leading a broad examination of how the F.B.I. handled the Clinton email investigation. A spokeswoman at the Justice Department said "we are aware of the allegation and taking any and all appropriate steps".
Mueller was appointed in May to lead the Justice Department's investigation into whether President Trump or any of his associates colluded with Russian during the 2016 White House race.
Strzok's return to an FBI post in the human resources division was cast as a promotion by some at the bureau, despite the fact it is widely seen to be a demotion.
The Office of the Inspector General is also reviewing Strzok's role in the Clinton email investigation, according to sources cited by Fox News. Nunes and other committee Republicans - backed by Speaker Paul Ryan - say they want to investigate whether the Justice Department and FBI may have improperly relied on the dossier to kick-start federal surveillance that caught up Trump associates, without independently confirming the information they used to justify such spying.