Mueller Removed Top F.B.I. Agent on possible anti-theft texts –

Mueller Removed Top F.B.I. Agent on possible anti-theft texts



Robert S. Mueller III, the special lawyer investigating the Russian meddling in the election, in June.

Doug Mills / The New York Times

WASHINGTON – The Special Counselor, Robert S. Mueller III, eliminated one of the best F.B.I. His investigation into the intrusion of Russian elections after the inspector general of the Justice Department began to examine whether the agent had sent text messages that expressed anti-Trump political opinions, according to three people informed on the matter.

The agent, Peter Strzok, considered one of the most experienced FBI and trusted counterintelligence investigators. It helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled the clbadified information in her private email account, and then played an important role in investigating links between President Trump's campaign and Russia.

But Mr. Strzok was rebadigned this summer from Mr. Mueller's investigation to the human resources department of the FBI, where he has been stationed ever since. The people informed about the case said that the transfer followed the discovery of text messages in which Mr. Strzok and a colleague reacted to news events, such as presidential debates, in ways that might seem critical of Mr. Trump.

A lawyer for Mr. Strzok declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said that "we are aware of the accusation and are taking all appropriate steps."

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