Now there’s a face to go with the name of the biased FBI operative at the center of multiple probes and controversies dogging the Trump administration.
Fox News has obtained a photo of Peter Strzok, the longtime FBI deputy fired by Special Counsel Robert Mueller over his bias against President Trump. Strzok (pronounced “Struck”), was sacked by Mueller after electronic messages he reportedly sent to a colleague emerged, but not before he played key roles in the probes swirling around Trump.
Strzok, a former deputy to the assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI, oversaw the bureau’s interviews with ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, changed former FBI Director James Comey’s early draft language about Hillary Clinton’s actions regarding her private email server from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” and reportedly helped push the largely unverified dossier on Trump that was initially prepared by Fusion GPS for the Clinton campaign’s opposition research.
Strzok’s bias has made him a poster child for Trump and his supporters, who believe the Mueller probe into alleged campaign collusion with Russia is biased.
“ANTI-TRUMP FBI AGENT LED CLINTON EMAIL PROBE,” President Trump tweeted Monday. “Now it all starts to make sense!”
Strzok’s messages were reportedly not only anti-Trump, but also pro-Hillary. That has raised the ire of critics because, prior to joining Mueller’s probe, he made edits to Comey’s speech exonerating Hillary Clinton.
The language being edited was important because classified material that’s been mishandled for “gross negligence” calls for criminal consequences, analysts point out.
Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about reaching out to Russian officials. Prosecutors said Flynn in December 2016 asked Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak, not to escalate the situation after the outgoing Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia in retaliation for suspected election interference.
Flynn left the White House in February after acknowledging that he had given an incomplete account to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts regarding Russia.
The wording change came to light last month after newly reported memos to Congress showed that a May 2016 draft of Comey’s statement closing out the email investigation accused the former secretary of state of being “grossly negligent.” A June 2016 draft stated Clinton had been “extremely careless.”
The modified language was final when Comey announced in July 2016 that Clinton wouldn’t face any charges in the email investigation.
Strzok is being reviewed by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General for the role he played in the Clinton email investigation.
A source close to the matter told Fox News that the probe, which will examine Strzok’s roles in a number of other politically sensitive cases, should be completed by “very early next year.”