FBI Agent at Center of Clinton Email Probe Controversy Escorted from Building
Peter Strzok, the senior FBI agent who led the Hillary Clinton email server investigation and exchanged a series of anti-Trump messages with another agent during the probe, has been escorted out of the bureau's Washington, D.C. headquarters, his lawyer confirmed Tuesday."Despite being put through a highly questionable process, Pete has complied with every FBI procedure, including being escorted from the building as a part of the ongoing internal proceedings," Aitan Goelman, a lawyer for Strzok, said in a statement emailed to VOA.CNN, citing an unnamed source, reported that Strzok was escorted out Friday.The FBI declined to comment.Strzok, a deputy FBI assistant director, led the Clinton probe in 2016 and was assigned to the office of the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed him from his team after the discovery of a series of anti-Trump and pro-Clinton text messages between Strzok and Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer also assigned to the Russia investigative team. Strzok was reassigned to the FBI's human resources department pending a decision by the bureau's office of personnel responsibility. In a report about the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation released Thursday, the Justice Department's inspector general singled out Strzok for sending blatantly anti-Trump messages to Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair at the time.In one message that has caused outrage among Republicans, Strzok wrote "We'll stop it" in response to a text message by Page that Trump may become president.The inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said that while the messages "cast a cloud" over the FBI's handling of "the investigation and the investigation's credibility," investigators found no evidence that their political bias "directly affected" the email probe. The report has nonetheless led President Donald Trump and his allies to charge that Strzok's anti-Trump animus influenced the FBI's decision not to bring charges against Clinton for mishandling classified material in her emails while secretary of state.In his statement, Goelman said Strzok "continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks.""Instead of publicly calling for a long-serving FBI agent to be summarily fired, politicians should allow the disciplinary process to play out free from political pressure," he said.