Conservatives see the FBI agent dismissed from Mueller’s Russia investigation as proof of a witch hunt.

A former top FBI counterintelligence official is now at the center of a right-wing media push to damage the credibility of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

On Saturday, the New York Times reported that Mueller had dismissed an FBI agent named Peter Strzok from his investigative team back in August because the agent had sent text messages critical of Donald Trump to a colleague. It’s unclear if the agent violated any FBI rules, but Mueller removed him to ensure the investigation was free from accusations of partisan bias, according to the Times.

Then on Monday, CNN reported that Strzok, who led the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server, changed how then-FBI Director James Comey publicly described her behavior from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” That change had the effect of softening Comey’s criticism of Clinton at a particularly sensitive time in the 2016 campaign.

Trump and conservative media figures have seized on Strzok’s removal as evidence that the Mueller probe is tainted by partisan bias — it’s part of an ongoing and intensifying effort to undercut the special counsel as his investigation into Trump’s possible collusion with Russia gathers steam.

In the past five weeks alone, Mueller has indicted former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and secured a guilty plea from Michael Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. Flynn is now cooperating with Mueller as the special counsel’s probe reaches deeper into Trump’s inner circle.

That’s prompting Trump and his defenders to train their fire on Mueller and his team.

On Sunday, Trump retweeted a description of Strzok’s apparent misdeeds by Paul Sperry, a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution: “STRZOK actually LED the Hillary email probe Read More Here