Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are targeting the FBI for playing politics with its investigation of alleged ties between Russia and President Trump’s former campaign.
According to news reports, Republicans are preparing a contempt of Congress resolution targeting top FBI officials because the agency is not forthcoming with key information on details about the removal of an investigator on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.
Peter Strzok, the FBI investigator in question, was removed from Mueller’s unit after concerns were raised about possible text messages exposing the agent had an anti-Trump bias.
Strzok also was a key figure investigating Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
U.S. House Republicans are drafting a contempt of Congress resolution against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray, claiming stonewalling in producing material related to the Russia-Trump probes and other matters.
Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and other committee Republicans, after considering such action for several weeks, decided to move after media including the New York Times reported Saturday on why a top FBI official assigned to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russia-Trump election collusion had been removed from the investigation.
Republicans, including the president, pointed to the reports as evidence that the entire probe into Russian meddling has been politically motivated.
The New York Times reported the details on Strzok:
The agent, Peter Strzok, is considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators. He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton had mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.
But Mr. Strzok was reassigned this summer from Mr. Mueller’s investigation to the F.B.I.’s human resources department, where he has been stationed since. The people briefed on the case said the transfer followed the discovery of text messages in which Mr. Strzok and a colleague reacted to news events, like presidential debates, in ways that could appear critical of Mr. Trump.
“Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the special counsel’s office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation,” said a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, Peter Carr.
It appears FBI leadership is trying to cover for an agent whose integrity is tainted by political views by exposing potential bias in the Mueller investigation.