Inspector General Investigating Whether Peter Strzok’s Bias Prompted Mueller's Special Counsel Investigation

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Posted: Jun 19, 2018 4:30 PM
Inspector General Investigating Whether Peter Strzok’s Bias Prompted Mueller's Special Counsel Investigation

Testifying in front of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees Tuesday morning, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office is officially investigating whether the bias of FBI Agent Peter Strzok helped spur Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation into the 2016 presidential election. 

“That’s a matter we’ve got under review and are looking at right now,” Horowitz said under questioning from House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte.

Strzok is one of the FBI agents who sent anti-Trump, pro-Hillary text messages during the 2016 presidential election. In fact, he said he would "stop" candidate Trump from becoming president. 

"We were particularly concerned about text messages sent by Strzok and Page that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions they made were impacted by bias or improper considerations," the DOJ Inspector General report, released last week, states. "Most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, and the implication in some of these text messages, particularly Strzok’s August 8 text message ('we’ll stop' candidate Trump from being elected), was that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects."

After Trump won the 2016 presidential election, Strzok volunteered for the Special Counsel investigation. He was taken off the case by Robert Mueller last year when his bias against President Trump was exposed.

Yesterday during testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Horowitz also revealed his office is investigating former FBI Director James Comey for potential mishandling of classified information. 

"Former Director Comey said on television the inspector general interviewed him about the handling of his memos of conversations with President Trump. Some of those memos contained classified information. Comey said he did not expect a report on his handling of classified information because 'it's frivolous,'" Chairman Chuck Grassley asked. "Are you investigating Comey's handling of his memos? And does that include the classification issues and should Mr. Comey expect a report when it is complete?"

"We received a referral on that from the FBI. We are handling that referral and we will issue a report when the matter is complete," Horowitz responded.

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Meanwhile, there's no determining when Mueller will wrap up the Special Counsel investigation.