Gowdy: FBI has had a 'really bad last 18 months'

Gowdy: FBI has had a 'really bad last 18 months'
© Greg Nash

South Carolina Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyTop House Dem claims Judiciary chairman's DOJ, FBI subpoena is invalid The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — GOP lawmakers race to find an immigration fix Republicans tear into IG finding on Clinton probe MORE (R) appeared to concur with President Trump's assessment of the FBI on Tuesday, tweeting that the agency has had a "really bad last 18 months."

"The Bureau has had a really bad last 18 months," Gowdy wrote. "This makes it worse."

Gowdy, the chairman of the powerful House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, was responding to a report from CNN that the FBI agent removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was the same agent who changed a key phrase in former FBI Director James Comey's speech declaring Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonColorado governor teases possible presidential run Mueller asks judge for September sentencing for Papadopoulos House Judiciary Committee subpoenas FBI agent who sent anti-Trump texts MORE wouldn't face charges.

According to the CNN report, Peter Strzok, who led the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while at the State Department, changed the description of Hillary Clinton's actions from "grossly negligent" to "extremely careless" in Comey's 2016 speech.

Federal law established criminal penalties for "gross negligence."

Strzok was removed from Mueller's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia over the summer after it was revealed in an internal investigation that he had sent text messages that could be interpreted as showing support for Hillary Clinton over President Trump. The messages were sent to Lisa Page, another member of Mueller's team.

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"Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel's Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation," a spokesman for Mueller's office said. "Lisa Page completed her brief detail and had returned to the FBI weeks before our office was aware of the allegations."

Trump fiercely attacked the FBI in an early Sunday tweet, saying that the agency's reputation was "in tatters."

“After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters - worst in History!” Trump said. “But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness.”

Under Gowdy, the Oversight Committee in October launched an investigation, along with the Judiciary Committee, into the Justice Department's decisions in 2016 regarding Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of State.