Conservative group sues FBI for records on agent dismissed from Mueller probe

A conservative watchdog group said Thursday that it has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit into the FBI's removal and reassignment of a top counterintelligence official from special counsel Robert Mueller's team probing Russian meddling in the U.S. election. 

Judicial Watch announced it had filed the lawsuit for all employment forms and records of FBI agent Peter Strzok's involvement in the Russia case after it said the FBI failed to respond to its prior FOIA request in August.

The group is also requesting all "related records of communication" between FBI employees or representatives.


“It is disturbing the FBI has stonewalled our request about the Mr. Strzok demotion for four months,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.

“One can only conclude the FBI and Justice Department (including Mr. Mueller’s operation) wanted to hide the truth about how Strzok’s and Page’s political biases and misconduct have compromised both the Clinton email and Russia collusion investigations.”

The FBI agent was reassigned to the bureau's human resources office earlier this summer after Justice Department investigators began probing whether he sent text messages to an FBI lawyer that were critical of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Jersey incumbents steamroll progressive challengers in primaries Tucker Carlson ratchets up criticism of Duckworth, calls her a 'coward' Trump on Confederate flag: 'It's freedom of speech' MORE.

Strzok was a senior agent assigned to both the Russia case and the FBI investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSusan Collins signals she won't campaign against Biden Cuccinelli says rule forcing international students to return home will 'encourage schools to reopen' Clinton labels ICE decision on international students 'cruel' and 'unnecessary' MORE's use of a private email server. He was the second-highest ranking counterintelligence official at the bureau.

The Justice Department's Office of Inspector General discovered the texts in its probe into the FBI's handling of the Clinton investigation and notified Mueller. The inspector general turned over a trove of hundreds of Strzok's text messages to Congress this week.