Officials escorted former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok from the FBI building Friday, due to ongoing internal proceedings regarding his conduct in the Clinton email investigation, a source told CNN.
Strzok has been under fire for sending anti-Trump texts to his lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, during the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. The Office of Inspector General’s probe into the FBI’s handling of the operation found that Strzok prioritized the Russia-Trump investigation over the Clinton investigation.
This decision, in light of the text in which he says “We’ll stop” Trump from being elected, led the OIG to doubt whether Strzok’s decision to focus on the Russia investigation rather than follow leads in the email inquiry “was free from bias.”
Strzok and Page violated FBI regulations by using their business phones to communicate about personal matters. The OIG said this conduct and the biased political opinions expressed through texts “brought discredit to themselves, sowed doubt about the FBI’s handling of the [Clinton email investigation] and impacted the reputation of the FBI.” The OIG said their actions damaged not only the investigation, but “the FBI’s reputation for neutral factfinding and political independence.” This left the OIG “deeply troubled.”
The finding led to an internal review about how to deal with the agents whose actions so negatively affected the work of the FBI and cast a shadow over its core values of “fairness” and “uncompromising personal integrity and institutional integrity.”
Todd Hulsey, former supervisory special agent of the FBI with 21 years of experience, said employees being escorted out in this manner typically means “their security clearances have been pulled, and they have been suspended, requiring that they be escorted from the premises to ensure that they have no exposure to classified material.”
The suspension would mostly likely be without pay, Hulsey said, “pending a determination to dismiss him from the rolls of the FBI.”