The FBI agent who was dismissed over anti-Trump messages from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation reportedly altered the language that then-FBI director James Comey used to describe Hillary Clinton's actions following the email investigation.
CNN reported that a source said Peter Strzok “changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton's actions as 'grossly negligent' to 'extremely careless.'”
Strzok was the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division and led the investigation into Clinton's private email server. However, CNN was told that while he was ultimately the one who made the change, “the drafting process was a team effort.”
Multiple people reviewed the language, and edits were made, according to the report.
CNN reported that while the shift in language may seem like semantics, it “reflected a decision by the FBI that could have had potentially significant legal implications.”
For example, “gross negligence” specifically factors into the federal law governing the mishandling of classified material.
After learning of the change last month, Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) took issue with it in a written statement.
The news is likely to provide more ammunition to critics of how the FBI handled its investigation into Clinton's email server.
President Donald Trump has reignited his attacks on the bureau, tweeting recently, “After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters — worst in History!”
“But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness,” Trump wrote.