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Top FBI agent removed from Mueller's team over anti-Trump texts

Report Mueller Reassigned Top FBI Agent in Russia Probe over anti Trump Texts

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.

Strzok was removed this summer after the inspector general of Justice Department discovered him and another person from Mueller's team exchanging anti-Trump text messages. "If that's the case, if something that was totally manufactured was then presented to federal investigators, to the FBI and said, "You need to investigate Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDems resurface Flynn's 'lock her up" comments after Mueller charges Congress must stop private prisons from receiving tax breaks Evangelicals were with Trump in 2016, and will be in 2020 MORE and his campaign'".

Clinton and her supporters say Comey's moves in October cost her the 2016 election, and Trump and his Republican allies have used it to justify Comey's firing - the event that ultimately led to Mueller being appointed as special counsel.

Defenders of Page and Strzok insisted the issue is "overblown" and that there was no misconduct between the two. It said the office is "reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them".

ABC News reported back in August that Strzok had left the investigation, but said at the time "it's unclear why Strzok stepped away from Mueller's team of almost two dozen lawyers, investigators and administrative staffers".

Trump's legal team had been searching for potential conflicts of interests among Mueller's investigators, the Times and the Post reported in July.

The revelation of Strzok's removal, and the reasons for it, are a huge blow to the credibility of Mueller's inquiry, which critics have long claimed is riddled with partisan conflicts of interest. But following the news, analysts pointed out that his reassignment suggests that Mueller has worked to avoid any conflicts of interest.

The text messages were discovered at a very crucial time during Mueller's investigation as he was nearly on the verge of losing his job after Trump was infomed that the probe was "tainted". 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.