Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified late Tuesday that his agency is investigating disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages, and whether Strzok’s apparent political bias had an impact on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
Fox News reports that Horowitz’s investigation is related to an FBI probe into whether members of the Trump presidential campaign conspired with Russian officials to affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Strzok was dropped from that probe when a series of secret texts between Strzok and his colleague-turned-lover revealed his political leanings.
On Tuesday, Strzok was escorted from the FBI building in Washington, D.C. According to reports, Strzok is still technically employed with the FBI and receiving a salary, though he is now “facing a professional responsibility investigation.”
“It clearly shows a biased state of mind,” Horowitz told the House Oversight Committee, referring directly to printouts of Strzok’s text messages in which Strzok assures his lover that he will do everything possible to “stop” the Trump administration.
“That’s a matter we’ve got under review and are looking at right now,” Horowitz told the Committee. He went on to confirm that there are even more text messages exhibiting Strzok’s political leanings and his plans to undermine the Trump White House.
Rep. Trey Gowdy, leading the committee, called the revelation “momentous.”
“And damn this feels momentous. Because this matters. The other one did, too, but that was to ensure we didn’t F something up. This matters because this MATTERS,” Gowdy said. “It almost sounds like they were going through the motions with the Clinton investigation — but boy they sure were excited about the Russia one.”
Mueller’s investigation remains ongoing, though aside from a handful of indictments related to behavior that occurred well before the 2016 presidential campaign, the Special Counsel seems to have found little to nothing connecting the Trump campaign to a Russian effort to sway the presidential election.