The FBI agent charged with investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server became aware of a possible breach, but never followed up, Fox News Channel has reported.
Citing sources familiar with the investigation, Fox News reported Peter Strzok discovered an irregularity in the server’s metadata in 2016 - just before the presidential election - but did not conduct a formal damage assessment.
According to intelligence community guidelines, damage assessments are done in the wake of a possible disclosure of classified national intelligence.
Mr. Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe because he sent anti-Trump texts to his lover, FBI attorney Lisa Page. The texts called Trump an “idiot” and “loathsome” while discussing an “insurance policy” in case he gets elected.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, who is investigating how the agency handled the Clinton probe is said to be investigating the allegations, Fox News said. Neither the FBI nor the Inspector General’s Office provided comment to the network.
Mr. Strozk helped edit former FBI Director James B. Comey’s July 2016 public statement recommending against criminal charges in the Clinton probe, according to media reports.
In an early draft from May 2016, Mr. Comey said it was “reasonably likely” that “hostile actors” had gained access to Ms. Clinton’s private email account, according to published reports. But that was changed to say it was “possible” the account was breached, Fox News said.
Mr. Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation is expected to be released soon.
• Jeff Mordock can be reached at email@example.com.
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