Peter Paul Strzok II
March 7, 1970
|Education||Tehran American School|
Saint John's Preparatory School
|Alma mater||Georgetown University (BA, MA)|
|Occupation||Former FBI agent|
Peter Paul Strzok II (//, like struck; born March 7, 1970) is a former United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent. Strzok was the Chief of the Counterespionage Section and led the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server.
Strzok rose to become a Deputy Assistant Director (one of several) of the Counterintelligence Division, the second-highest position in that division. He also led the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.
In June and July 2017, Strzok worked on Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation into any links or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia investigation when Mueller became aware of criticisms of Trump and his supporters contained in personal text messages exchanged between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended Mueller's response to the text messages.
The revelation of the text messages led Republican congressmen and right wing media to speculate that Strzok participated in a conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency. A comprehensive review in February 2018 of Strzok's messages by The Wall Street Journal concluded that "texts critical of Mr. Trump represent a fraction of the roughly 7,000 messages, which stretch across 384 pages and show no evidence of a conspiracy against Mr. Trump".
On August 10, 2018, David Bowdich, the FBI deputy director, fired Strzok for the anti-Trump text messages. On August 6, 2019, Strzok filed a wrongful termination suit against the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice, asking to be reinstated and awarded back pay. He asserted in the suit that his text messages were "protected political speech," and that his termination violated the First Amendment. In December 2019, a report by the Justice Department inspector general found that Strzok was not motivated by bias in his work on the FBI investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
In September 2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published Strzok's book, Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump, which became a New York Times and Washington Post bestseller. During an NBC News interview upon release of the book, Strzok confirmed a recent report in The New York Times that the FBI had opened a broad counterintelligence investigation into Trump after the president fired FBI director James Comey in May 2017, based on concerns over Trump's "financial entanglements" with Russia. That investigation was curtailed days later by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, giving the FBI the impression that the incipient Mueller investigation would pursue it, though Rosenstein instructed Mueller not to, effectively ending the investigation.
Peter Paul Strzok II was born near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to Peter Paul Strzok and Virginia Sue Harris. His father is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel who served in the Corps of Engineers. During a 21-year military career, his father did two tours in Vietnam, two in Saudi Arabia, and three in Iran, where Strzok attended elementary school at the American School in Tehran prior to the Iranian Revolution. The family later moved to Upper Volta, where the elder Strzok took an assignment with Catholic Relief Services after retiring from military service. One of Strzok's uncles is Father James Strzok, SJ, a Jesuit priest doing missionary work in east Africa. The Strzok family is of Polish descent. For high school, Strzok attended St. John's Preparatory School in Minnesota, graduating in 1987. He earned a bachelor's degree from Georgetown University in 1991 as well as a master's degree in 2013. After graduating from Georgetown in 1991, Strzok served as an officer in the United States Army before leaving to join the FBI in 1996 as an intelligence research specialist. Strzok is married to Melissa Hodgman, an associate director at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
A career employee with the FBI for 22 years before his firing in August 2018, Strzok had been a lead agent in the FBI's "Operation Ghost Stories" against Andrey Bezrukov and Yelena Vavilova, a Russian spy couple who were part of the Illegals Program, a network of Russian sleeper agents who were arrested in 2010. By July 2015, Strzok was serving as the section chief of the Counterespionage Section, a subordinate section of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division.
Strzok led a team of a dozen investigators during the FBI's investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server and assisted in the drafting of public statements for then-FBI Director James Comey. He changed the description of Clinton's actions from "grossly negligent", which could be a criminal offense, to "extremely careless". The draft was reviewed and corrected by several people and its creation was a team process. In his statement to Congress, Comey said that "no reasonable prosecutor" would bring charges based on available evidence. Later, when additional emails were discovered a few days before the election, Strzok supported reopening the Clinton investigation. He then co-wrote the letter that Comey used to inform Congress, which "reignited the email controversy in the final days" and "played a key role in a controversial FBI decision that upended Hillary Clinton's campaign."
Strzok rose to the rank of Deputy Assistant Director in the Counterintelligence Division and was the number two official within that division for investigations involving Russia. In that capacity, he led the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, and examined both the Donald Trump–Russia dossier and the Russian role in the 2016 Democratic National Committee email leak. He also oversaw the bureau's interviews with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn; Flynn later pled guilty to lying during those interviews.
In July 2017, Strzok became the most senior FBI agent working for Robert Mueller's 2017 Special Counsel investigation looking into any links or coordination between Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. He served in that position until August 2017, at which time he was moved to the Human Resources Branch. According to The New York Times, Strzok was "considered one of the most experienced and trusted FBI counterintelligence investigators," as well as "one of the Bureau's top experts on Russia" according to CNN.
Strzok left the investigation in late July 2017 after the discovery of personal text messages sent to a colleague. At the request of Republicans in Congress, the Justice Department (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) began an inquiry in January 2017 into how the FBI handled investigations related to the election, and the IG announced it would issue a report by March or April 2018. The report was eventually released on June 14, 2018, after several delays.
On June 15, 2018, the day after this IG report was published, Strzok was escorted from FBI headquarters as part of the bureau's internal conduct investigations. The move put Strzok on notice that the bureau intended to fire him, though he had appeal rights that could delay such action. On June 21, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Strzok had lost his security clearance.
FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich fired Strzok on August 10, 2018. His decision overruled the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility, whose head, Candice Will, had decided that Strzok should be demoted and suspended for 60 days. On August 13, a GoFundMe campaign was created by "Friends Of Special Agent Peter Strzok" to raise money for Strzok's lost income and ongoing legal costs.
Strzok filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the DOJ and the FBI in federal court on August 6, 2019, asking to be reinstated and awarded back pay. He argued that the Justice Department had terminated him because of "unrelenting pressure" from Trump over his comments in private text messages. Strzok asserted in the suit that his sentiments were "protected political speech," that the DOJ had violated his privacy by releasing his texts to the media, and that his termination violated the First Amendment. He alleged that the Trump administration had "consistently tolerated and even encouraged partisan political speech by federal employees", but only if that speech lauded the president and denounced his opponents. He said his removal was "part of a broader campaign against the very principle of free speech ... initiated and led by" Trump. The Justice Department and FBI spokeswomen declined to comment.
The IG's investigation examined thousands of text messages exchanged using FBI-issued cell phones between Strzok and Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair. She was also a trial attorney on Mueller's team. The texts were sent between August 15, 2015 and December 1, 2016. At the request of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the DOJ turned over 375 of these text messages to the House Judiciary Committee. Some of the texts disparaged then-presidential candidate Donald Trump, Chelsea Clinton, Attorney General in the Obama administration Eric Holder, former Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley, and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination Bernie Sanders. Strzok called Trump an "idiot" in August 2015 and texted "God Hillary should win 100,000,000 - 0" after a Republican debate in March 2016. In their messages, Strzok and Page also advocated creating a Special Counsel to investigate the Hillary Clinton email controversy, and discussed suggesting former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald be considered for such a probe. Devlin Barrett from The Washington Post alleged Strzok and Page had been using the backdrop of discussing the Clinton investigation as a cover for their personal communications during an affair. Upon learning of the text messages, Mueller removed Strzok from the investigation. Messages released in January 2018 showed that Strzok was hesitant to join the Mueller investigation, with Page encouraging him not to.
Strzok's colleagues and a former Trump administration official said that Strzok had never shown any political bias. An associate of his says the political parts of the text messages were especially related to Trump's criticism of the FBI's investigation of the Clinton emails. According to FBI guidelines, agents are allowed to have and express political opinions as individuals. Former FBI and DOJ officials told The Hill that it was not uncommon for agents like Strzok to hold political opinions and still conduct an impartial investigation. Several agents asserted that Mueller had removed Strzok to protect the integrity of the special counsel's Russia investigation. Strzok was not punished following his reassignment. Defenders of Strzok and Page in the FBI said no professional misconduct between them occurred.
The decision by the DOJ to publicize the private messages in December 2017 was controversial. Statements by DOJ spokeswomen revealed that some reporters had copies of the texts even before the DOJ invited the press to review them, but the DOJ did not authorize the pre-release. Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee have asked for a review of the circumstances under which the texts were leaked to select press outlets.
The Office of Inspector General's report on the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation published on June 14, 2018, criticized Strzok's text messages for creating the appearance of impropriety. However, the report concluded that there was no evidence of bias in the FBI's decision not to pursue criminal charges against Clinton. The report revealed additional texts hostile to Donald Trump by Strzok. In early August 2016, after Page asked Strzok, "[Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!", Strzok responded: "No. No he won't. We'll stop it." Many Democrats believed that the FBI's actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, such as reopening the Clinton email investigation on the eve of the election and elements within the FBI telling The New York Times that there was no clear link between the Trump campaign and Russia, ended up harming the Clinton campaign and benefitting the Trump campaign.
At a July 12, 2018 public congressional hearing, Strzok denied that the personal beliefs expressed in the text messages impacted his work for the FBI. Strzok explained that a "We'll stop Trump" text message was written late at night and off-the-cuff shortly after Trump denigrated the immigrant family of a fallen American war hero, Khizr and Ghazala Khan, and that the message reflected Strzok's belief that Americans would not vote for a candidate who engaged in such "horrible, disgusting behavior". Strzok said the message "was in no way – unequivocally – any suggestion that me, the FBI, would take any action whatsoever to improperly impact the electoral process for any candidate." Strzok added that he knew of information during the 2016 presidential campaign that could have damaged Trump but that he never contemplated leaking it. Strzok also said that he criticized politicians such as Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in his "blunt" text messages. Strzok said that the investigation into him and the Republicans' related rhetoric was misguided and played into “our enemies’ campaign to tear America apart.”
Strzok's personal messages to Lisa Page have been used by Republicans to attack the impartiality of Mueller's investigation into Donald Trump's alleged collusion with Russia during the election. Conservative media outlets and Republicans have used the text messages as part of an aggressive campaign to discredit the Mueller investigation and protect President Trump. Other Republicans have defended Mueller and his work, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who said that he would fire Mueller only if there was actual cause under DOJ regulations, and that no such cause existed. Rosenstein also praised Mueller for removing Strzok from the Russian investigation.
In 2018, President Trump falsely claimed that 19,000 text messages between Strzok and Page "were purposely & illegally deleted" and that these text messages "Would have explained whole Hoax". PolitiFact rated the claim "Pants-on-fire" false. An investigation by the Justice Department's inspector general found no evidence the messages were purposefully deleted, some from the work phones were recovered, and that the texts on their personal phones were lost when they were reset. 
In an August 15, 2016 text message, Strzok told Page: "I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's (Andrew McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI) office that there's no way Trump gets elected—but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40." This message attracted scrutiny from Republicans, including Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, who stated: "Some of these texts appear to go beyond merely expressing a private political opinion, and appear to cross the line into taking some official action to create an 'insurance policy' against a Trump presidency." Sources close to Strzok and Page told The Wall Street Journal that Strzok was not contemplating using the FBI's investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to harm Trump's candidacy, but rather emphasizing the need to aggressively pursue any such leads before the election "because some of Mr. Trump's associates could land administration jobs and it was important to know if they had colluded with Russia."
On January 20, 2018, Senator Ron Johnson (R–WI) released a letter in which he stated that the FBI's technical system had failed to preserve five months' worth of texts between Strzok and Page. According to the letter, the texts in question were sent between mid-December 2016 and mid-May 2017. A Justice Department official later said that the technical lapse had affected thousands of FBI-issued phones, which failed to store text messages for periods of up to a year.
In late January 2018, a number of congressional Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson, asserted that they had evidence that pointed towards FBI agents working clandestinely to undermine the Trump presidency; they asserted that Strzok and Page were in a "secret society" against Trump. Congressional Republicans refused to release the evidence behind the assertion, but ABC News obtained a copy of the message that Republicans were referring to and noted that the message that refers to a "secret society" may have been made in jest. The day after his assertion that these messages demonstrated "corruption at the highest levels of the FBI" and after a copy of the messages were revealed by ABC News, Johnson walked back his comments and said that there was a "real possibility" that the messages were made in jest.
In February 2018, Johnson speculated that a text message between FBI agent Peter Strzok and Lisa Page raised questions about "the type and extent of President Obama's personal involvement" in the Clinton emails investigation. Fox News reiterated, without scrutiny, Ron Johnson's speculative claim that text messages between senior FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page suggested that President Barack Obama was deeply involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails. Fox News spokeswoman Carly Shanahan did not answer an inquiry from CNN about whether Fox News reached out to Obama for comment. Johnson's claim was covered by various pro-Trump websites, such as Drudge Report, Breitbart, InfoWars and The Gateway Pundit, before President Trump himself tweeted "NEW FBI TEXTS ARE BOMBSHELLS!" Other news outlets reported that the text messages were sent in September 2016, months after the Clinton emails investigation had concluded, and three days before Obama would confront Russian President Vladimir Putin about interference in the 2016 election at the G20 Hangzhou summit. Associates of Strzok and Page told The Wall Street Journal the texts were about the FBI's investigation into Russian electoral interference. Fox News continued to report the story even after these news outlets had provided this context for the messages.
Fox News commentary
Some commentators on Fox News used Strzok's messages to comment negatively on the Mueller investigation. Jesse Watters said that Mueller's investigation now amounted to a coup against President Trump, if "the investigation was weaponized to destroy his presidency for partisan political purposes". Fox Business host Lou Dobbs said that the FBI and DOJ were working clandestinely to destroy the Trump presidency, and called for a "war" against the "deep state". One guest on Fox's talk and news show Outnumbered, Kevin Jackson, speculated that Strzok's messages were evidence of a plot by FBI agents to make "an assassination attempt or whatever" against President Trump, which other Fox hosts quickly contradicted and said was not "credible". Fox News figures referred to the investigation as "corrupt", "crooked" and "illegitimate", and likened the FBI's tactics to the KGB, the Soviet-era spy organization.
Some MSNBC commentators described Strzok and Page's comments regarding Trump and the need for an "insurance policy" if he were elected, as merely, "negative comments", and "critical" of Trump.
- Inspector General report on FBI and DOJ actions in the 2016 election
- Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections
- "Strzok". The Evening News. Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. March 12, 1970. p. 7. Retrieved October 11, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- Zapotosky, Matt (August 13, 2018). "FBI agent Peter Strzok fired over anti-Trump texts". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 12, 2018.
- Browne, Pamela (December 2, 2017). "Fired FBI official at center of Flynn, Clinton, dossier controversies revealed". Fox News.
- Jarrett, Laura; Perez, Evan (December 4, 2017). "FBI agent dismissed from Mueller probe changed Comey description of Clinton". CNN. Retrieved December 4, 2017.
- Schmidt, Michael S. (June 14, 2018). "Top Agent Said F.B.I. Would Stop Trump from Becoming President". The New York Times. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
- Doering, Christopher (March 7, 2016). "Thieves see ag trade secrets as ripe for picking". Des Moines Register.
- Hosenball, Alex (September 29, 2017). "Special counsel Robert Mueller has assembled a team of 16 seasoned prosecutors". ABC News.
- Bertrand, Natasha (August 16, 2017). "A top FBI investigator has unexpectedly stepped away from special counsel Mueller's Russia probe". Business Insider. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- Price, Greg (December 6, 2017). "Will Trump Fire Mueller? Democrats Want to Protect Special Counsel Amid FBI Bias Cries". Newsweek.
- Bertrand, Natasha (December 9, 2017). "'He was thrown to the wolves': Former FBI agents defend ousted Mueller investigator as Trump attacks 'rigged' DOJ". Business Insider. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
- "Text Message Raise Questions Of Political Bias By FBI Employees". CBS Miami. December 13, 2017 – via MSN.
Newly revealed text messages are raising questions about the political bias of two key FBI employees who worked on both the Mueller Russia probe and last year's Hillary Clinton email investigation.
- Vazquez, Maegan (December 17, 2017). "Mnuchin says he has no reason to think Trump will fire Mueller". CNN.
[Mueller removed Strzok] after learning he had exchanged text messages with an FBI attorney that showed bias against then-candidate Trump.
- "Trump, Fox News, and Twitter have created a dangerous conspiracy theory loop". June 6, 2018.
- "FACT CHECK: Is Peter Strzok a CIA Operative Who Grew Up in Iran and Was 'Placed' in the FBI to Help Hillary Clinton?".
- Bertrand, Natasha (June 15, 2018). "How Trumpworld Is Spinning the FBI Report".
- "Fox News hosts ramp up 'deep state' conspiracies".
- Wilber, Del Quentin (February 2, 2018). "Inside the FBI Life of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, as Told in Their Text Messages". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved February 2, 2018.
- "Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump texts got him fired from the FBI, sues for reinstatement", Washington Post (August 6, 2019). Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- Wagner, Meg; Rocha, Veronica (December 9, 2019). "Inspector general report on Russia investigation is out". CNN. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
- "Book excerpt: "Compromised" by Peter Strzok". www.cbsnews.com. September 8, 2020. Retrieved September 11, 2020.
- "New York Times Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction". The New York Times. September 27, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
- "Washington Post hardcover bestsellers". The Washington Post. September 16, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
- "Peter Strzok Defends Belief Trump 'Compromised' by Russia: Their Leverage Renders Him 'Incapable' of Defending National Interest". Mediaite. September 13, 2020. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- Schmidt, Michael S. (August 30, 2020). "Justice Dept. Never Fully Examined Trump's Ties to Russia, Ex-Officials Say". The New York Times. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- Strzok, Peter. "Peter P. Strzok: 50-year difference in Iran", Fayetteville Observer (September 3, 2016).
- McBride, Jessica (July 18, 2018). "Peter Strzok's Father, Peter Paul Strzok: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know".
- "Reflections from Africa". jesuitsmidwest.org. Archived from the original on August 3, 2020. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
- St. Cloud Times, p. 38 (May 15, 1987).
- McBride, Jessica (December 2, 2017). "Peter Strzok & Lisa Page: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy, Inc. Heavy.com. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- "$25K GUAA Participation Challenge" Archived October 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine, Georgetown University, accessed November 7, 2017.
- Schmidt, Michael et al. "Mueller Removed Top Agent in Russia Inquiry Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts", The New York Times, December 2, 2017.
- Bucher, Chris (December 2, 2017). "Peter Strzok & Lisa Page: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- Fonrouge, Gabrielle and Schultz, Marisa. "Feds eye anti-Trump FBI agent over shady moves in Hillary email probe", New York Post (December 5, 2017).
- Democrat and Chronicle, p. 10 (November 17, 2010).
- "Donald Trump is wrong. My client Peter Strzok is a patriot, not a 'sick loser.'". USA Today. June 19, 2018.
- "GOP stunt to smear counter-intel expert Strzok ripe for backfire". MSNBC. July 11, 2018.
- Schmidt, Michael S.; Goldman, Adam; Lichtblau, Eric (April 22, 2017). "Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election". The New York Times. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- Manu Raju; Laura Jarrett; Jeremy Herb. "Controversial FBI agent co-wrote Comey draft". CNN. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
- James B. Comey to Congressional Committees, October 28, 2016 Archived December 8, 2018, at the Wayback Machine; accessed July 24, 2018.
- "Mueller removed FBI agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts: reports". Reuters. December 3, 2017., Reuters (December 2, 2017).
- Sheth, Sonam (December 4, 2017). "Strzok authorized the FBI to launch the Russia investigation". Business Insider. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
- Levine, Mike (December 4, 2017). "FBI agent removed from Russia probe had key role in controversial remarks on Clinton". ABC News.
- Darrah, Nicole (December 4, 2017). "FBI agent fired from Russia probe oversaw Flynn interviews, softened Comey language on Clinton email actions". Fox News. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
- Barrett, Devlin; Sullivan, Sean (December 6, 2017). "Republicans hammer Mueller, FBI as Russia investigation intensifies". The Washington Post.
- Prokupecz, Shimon (July 13, 2017). "Special counsel brings on FBI official who oversaw Clinton email investigation". CNN.
- "Top FBI official assigned to Mueller's Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts". The Washington Post.
- Perez, Evan. "FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation". CNN.
- Bertrand, Natasha (July 12, 2018). "FBI Investigator Rejects Accusations of Anti-Trump Bias". The Atlantic.
- LEVINE, MIKE. "Special counsel's Russia probe loses top FBI investigator", ABC News, August 16, 2017.
- Uchill, Joe (August 16, 2017). "High-ranking FBI official leaves Russia probe". The Hill. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Demirjian, Karoun; Barrett, Devlin (December 2, 2017). "Top FBI official assigned to Mueller's Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Kutner, Max (December 2, 2017). "Why Mueller threw an agent off the Trump-Russia probe". Newsweek. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Jarrett, Laura (June 19, 2018). "FBI agent Strzok Escorted from FBI Building Friday". CNN. Retrieved June 19, 2018.
- Zapotsky, Matt (June 19, 2018). "FBI agent who said 'we'll stop' Trump from becoming president escorted from building, though he remains a bureau employee". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
- Manchester, Julia (June 21, 2018). "Sessions says FBI agent Peter Strzok no longer has his security clearance." The Hill. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
- Zapotosky, Matt. "FBI agent Peter Strzok fired over anti-Trump texts". Washington Post. Retrieved August 13, 2018.
- Cummings, William (August 17, 2018). "GoFundMe page for fired FBI agent Peter Strzok raises $325,000 in one day". CNBC. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- Tucker, Eric (August 6, 2019). "Peter Strzok sues FBI for firing him over anti-Trump texts". AP News. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
- Johnson, Kevin (December 12, 2017). "Peter Strzok, FBI agent removed from Robert Mueller's Russia probe, called Trump an 'idiot'". USA Today.
Peter Strzok, a counter-intelligence agent who also helped run the investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server, expressed a clear preference for the Democratic candidate while leveling expletive-laden insults against Republicans
- Gerstein, Josh (December 12, 2017). "In texts, FBI agents on Russia probe called Trump an 'idiot'". Politico.
- Jarrett, Laura. "Justice Dept. offers up key witness in Russia probe as House Intel Chair threatens contempt", CNN, December 4, 2017.
- Demirjian, Karoun; Barrett, Devlin (December 2, 2017). "Top FBI official assigned to Mueller's Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
- Perez, Evan (December 4, 2017). "FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation". CNN. Retrieved December 3, 2017.
- Delk, Josh (December 14, 2017). "FBI agent removed from Russia probe also lambasted Sanders, Holder in texts". TheHill. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
- Wilber, Del Quentin (December 14, 2017). "Full Texts: FBI Employees' Messages Bashed Trump, Sanders, Congress". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660.
- Wilber, Del Quentin (December 14, 2017). "FBI Agent Removed From Russia Probe Held Dim Views of Holder, Sanders". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Hartmann, Margaret (December 13, 2017). "We Now Know FBI Agents Privately Called Trump an 'Idiot,' But Not Why That's Relevant". New York.
Strzok and Page held political views typical of the average Clinton voter....
- "Texts: FBI considered Patrick Fitzgerald as special prosecutor for Hillary Clinton emails". Politico. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
- Barrett, Devlin (December 15, 2017). "FBI officials' text message about Hillary Clinton said to be a cover story for romantic affair". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
- Samuels, Brett (January 23, 2018). "GOP senator releases additional messages from FBI agent removed from Mueller probe". TheHill. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Wilber, Del Quentin; Sonne, Paul (December 3, 2017). "FBI Agent Removed From Russia Probe Had Key Role in Clinton Email Investigation". The Wall Street Journal.
Peter Strzok, 47 years old, was one of the highest-ranking agents at the bureau and was considered one of its most experienced counterintelligence experts.
- Williams, Katie (December 12, 2017). "FBI agent becomes GOP public enemy No. 1". The Hill. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
- Wilber, Del Quentin (December 2, 2017). "Mueller Reassigned Top Aide on Russia Probe After Anti-Trump Texts". The Wall Street Journal.
- Graham, David (December 7, 2017). "The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok". The Atlantic.
Wray said during testimony to the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that, although he had been reassigned, Strzok had not been punished
- Nguyen, Tina (December 15, 2017). "Has the D.O.J. Overplayed Its "Textgate" Scandal?". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
- "FBI agent defiantly rejects bias charges at chaotic hearing". AP News. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
- Bowden, John (June 14, 2018). "FBI agent in texts: 'We'll stop' Trump from becoming president". The Hill. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
- "Analysis | Peter Strzok just gave a hard-to-rebut defense of the objectivity of the Russia investigation's origins". Washington Post. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
- Fandos, Nicholas; Savage, Charlie (December 13, 2017). "Justice Dept. Official Defends Mueller as Republicans Try to Discredit Him". New York Times. Retrieved December 17, 2017.
Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein adamantly defended the character and impartiality of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, as he came head-to-head on Wednesday with an increasingly aggressive campaign by Republicans to discredit the inquiry. The Republicans' effort received a fresh jolt from the release one night earlier of text messages exchanged last year between an F.B.I. agent, Peter Strzok, and an F.B.I. lawyer, Lisa Page, describing the possibility of an election victory by President Trump as 'terrifying' and saying that Hillary Clinton 'just has to win.' Mr. Mueller removed Mr. Strzok from the Russia investigation as soon as he learned of the texts, a step that Mr. Rosenstein praised. Nonetheless, Republicans used the messages as fodder to attack the impartiality of Mr. Mueller during an appearance by Mr. Rosenstein before the House Judiciary Committee.
- "No evidence FBI officials' texts deliberately erased". @politifact. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- Seitz, Amanda (December 2, 2019). "No evidence 19,000 text messages between FBI officials destroyed". AP News. Associated Press. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
- Wilber, Del Quentin (December 18, 2017). "In FBI Agent's Account, 'Insurance Policy' Text Referred to Russia Probe". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- Jarrett, Laura (December 13, 2017). "Months-worth of FBI employees' texts dreading Trump victory released to Congress". CNN. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
- Lynch, Sarah N. (January 21, 2018). "Senator says FBI lost crucial texts tied to Clinton probe". Reuters. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, revealed in a Jan. 20 letter that the FBI's technical system failed to preserve texts that were exchanged between Lisa Page, a lawyer, and Peter Strzok, an agent, between mid-December 2016 through mid-May of 2017.
- "Thousands of FBI-issued phones had glitch that failed to save texts". CBS News. January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- "The full 'secret society' text between FBI agents: Was it meant in jest?". ABC News. January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- Raju, Manu; Stracqualursi, Veronica. "Sen. Johnson backs off 'secret society' claim". CNN. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- Wilber, Del Quentin (February 7, 2018). "Text From 2016 Shows Obama's Interest in FBI Employees' Work". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
- Darcy, Oliver (February 7, 2018). "Right-wing media obsesses over FBI text message story; hours later it's debunked". CNN.
- Edelman, Adam; Memoli, Mike. "FBI texts: Obama 'wants to know everything we're doing'". NBC News. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
- Schmidt, Samantha (December 18, 2017). "A 'coup in America?' Fox News escalates anti-Mueller rhetoric". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- Beavers, Olivia (December 17, 2017). "Fox News host called 'irresponsible' after suggesting US facing a 'coup' from Mueller". TheHill. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- Hart, Benjamin. "Jesse Watters Says We May 'Have a Coup on Our Hands in America'". Daily Intelligencer. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- "Fox News's FBI coup conspiracy theory, explained". Vox. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- Jacobs, Ben (December 19, 2017). "'Kill the messenger': how Fox News cried 'coup' over the Trump-Russia inquiry". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
- Anapol, Avery (January 24, 2018). "Lou Dobbs: 'May be time to declare war' on 'deep state'". The Hill. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
- Bowden, John (December 19, 2017). "Fox guest floats possibility of FBI assassination plot against Trump". TheHill. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
- Benen, Steve (August 13, 2018). "Why the FBI firing Peter Strzok, a frequent Trump target, matters". MSNBC. Retrieved June 9, 2020.