The FBI agent who has become a target of President Trump and his allies for the anti-Trump texts he sent while working on the Russia probe was escorted from the bureau’s “building as part of the ongoing internal proceedings,” his attorney said in a statement to reporters Tuesday.
CNN was first to report that Peter Strzok, who also worked on the Hillary Clinton email investigate, was escorted out of the building on Friday. He remains an FBI employee, his lawyer said in the statement.
“Pete has complied with every FBI procedure,” his attorney Aitan Goelman said, calling it, nonetheless, a “highly questionable process.”
Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to Lisa Page, an FBI attorney also involved with both probes, first surfaced last year, as part of the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email inquiry. Both officials are no longer working on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — Strzok having been removed last July because of the allegations, Page departing from it before the texts were uncovered by the inspector general.
The IG report released Thursday found that while Page and Strzok appeared biased against Trump, there was no evidence that the bias directly impacted the decisions they reviewed in the Clinton email probe. The inspector general added however there were texts pertaining to the Russia probe, which was not part of his review, “that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.” Strzok, Page and the other FBI employees found to have sent inappropriate texts on their work devices were referred to the FBI by the inspector general to consider whether they “violated the FBI’s Offense Code of Conduct.”
Goelman’s statement Tuesday said that Strzok “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.”
“All of this seriously calls into question the impartiality of the disciplinary process, which now appears tainted by political influence,” the statement said. “Instead of publicly calling for a long-serving FBI agent to be summarily fired, politicians should allow the disciplinary process to play out free from political pressure.”
Read the full statement below: