The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman has demanded the FBI turn over documents related to an agent who was removed from Robert Mueller’s special counsel team after an internal probe found he sent messages that showed possible bias for Hillary Clinton and against President Trump.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday to ask that the bureau address a series of questions about counterintelligence investigator Peter Strzok.
The deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division was removed both from that position and the Mueller team over the summer, and reassigned to the human resources division, after it was reported that he “engaged in communications demonstrating political bias while handling matters in two sensitive, high-profile investigations,” Mr. Grassley said.
Mr. Strzok led the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s email server in 2016. He sent the text messages to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer who also left the Mueller investigation this past summer.
He was also one of two agents who would eventually interview former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
“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. “Lisa Page completed her brief detail and had returned to the FBI weeks before our office was aware of the allegations.”
The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General has been reviewing both the FBI’s and the DOJ’s handling of the Clinton probe, which cleared the Mrs. Clinton of criminal wrongdoing. The messages from Mr. Strzok were discovered in the course of that internal review.
Mr. Grassley, Iowa Republican, previously requested to interview Mr. Strzok to discuss a number of the accusations, but has not been able to do so.
Now, ahead of a planned interview, the committee is seeking a number of documents and communications sent to or from Mr. Strzok by Dec. 11.
Mr. Grassley requested requested the text messages at issue, communications containing “favorable or unfavorable statements about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton,” and any communications that include decisions about closing the Clinton investigation or opening an investigation into potential collusion between associates of President Trump and the Russian government.