FBI agent Peter Strzok escorted from FBI building Friday
FBI agent Peter Strzok was escorted from the FBI building Friday as part of the ongoing internal proceedings at the bureau on his conduct, according to a source familiar with the matter.
As of Tuesday, the source said, Strzok is still an FBI employee. He had a central role on the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information. He later worked on the investigation into connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia and briefly worked for special counsel Robert Mueller before text messages between Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page disparaging President Donald Trump were discovered.
Strzok is currently embroiled in an internal FBI investigation stemming from findings in outlined in a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, which details a number of private text messages and use of personal email for FBI business.
Last week, Horowitz, released an exhaustive report on the FBI’s conduct in the Clinton probe and found that Strzok’s texts “cast a cloud” over the entire FBI investigation. The report concluded that there was no evidence “to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions” that were the subject of controversy, such as allowing immunity agreements or having fact witnesses sit in on others’ interviews prior to July 5, 2016, the day then-FBI Director James Comey issued a statement on the Clinton investigation that cleared her.
However, Horowitz was troubled by the FBI’s month-long delay in obtaining a search warrant to review emails possibly related to the investigation on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop in the fall of 2016. The report specifically calls out Strzok’s decision to “prioritize” the Russia investigation over following-up on the laptop issue, leaving the report unable to conclude it was “free from bias.”
Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, said his client “remains a proud FBI agent who wants to continue working to keep the American people safe.”
“Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process, and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks,” Goelman said in a statement. “All of this seriously calls into question the impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence.”
Strzok has been stationed in human resources at the FBI since he was dismissed from Mueller’s team last summer.