As Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election continues, two former members of his team are under scrutiny for text messages they exchanged about President Trump and the probe.
In the messages, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were romantically involved, bashed Trump and discussed concerns about being too tough on Hillary Clinton during an investigation into the use of her private email server. The pair exchanged some 50,000 text messages throughout the presidential election and first year of the Trump administration, many of them with anti-Trump sentiments.
GOP congressional investigators have alleged that more uncovered text messages between Strzok and Page may show a possible coordination between high-ranking officials in the Obama administration, CIA, FBI, Justice Department and former Senate Democratic leadership in the early stages of the Russia investigation.
The investigators say the information provided to Fox News “strongly” suggests coordination between former President Barack Obama’s chief of staff Denis McDonough, then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and former CIA Director John Brennan — which they say would “contradict” the past administration’s public stance about its hand in the process.
Other text messages show an allegiance for fired FBI Director James Comey. Page said, in one message, that she had wanted to "see what the FBI could become under him."
Here’s a look at who exchanged the text messages – and who would eventually leave the FBI.
Peter Strzok is a veteran counterintelligence agent who was assigned to both the investigation into Clinton’s personal email server and Muller's probe into possible collusion between Trump officials and Russians during the election.
Strzok was removed from the Russia investigation after it was revealed that he exchanged anti-Trump text messages with Lisa Page, a senior FBI lawyer.
ABC first reported that Strzok left the probe and was reassigned to the human resources division in August 2017.
According to the text messages, Strzok was hesitant to join Mueller’s investigation because of his “gut sense” that there was “no big there there.”
Strzok, a former Army ranger, also oversaw the FBI’s interviews with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Newly released text messages revealed that Strzok had a personal relationship with U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras who originally presided over Flynn's case before being recused.
Strzok previously worked on investigations pertaining to Chinese and Russian espionage, according to The New York Times.
A lawyer for the FBI, Lisa Page was only temporarily on Mueller’s team, but she discussed the investigation with Strzok.
Page warned Strzok via text about the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as secretary of state, saying in February 2016 that she “might be our next president.”
“The last thing you need [is] going in there loaded for bear,” Page continued. “You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more [DOJ] than [FBI]?”
Page and Strzok also discussed preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Barack Obama because he wanted “to know everything we’re doing,” she said.
Page, who has "deep experience [in] money laundering and organized crime cases," was removed from the investigation in September 2017.
A controversial figure at the FBI, deputy director Andrew McCabe was seemingly referenced by Page and Strzok in their text messages.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office - that there’s no way he gets elected - but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
Some lawmakers believed “Andy” to be a reference to McCabe.
Another text from Strzok to Page on Aug. 3, 2016 said McCabe was concerned with “information control” about the investigation into Trump’s campaign. According to a report from The New York Times, Brennan was sent to Capitol Hill around the same time to brief members of Congress on the possibility of election interference.
McCabe, whose wife ran as a Democrat for a Virginia Senate seat with financial assistance from a group tied to Clinton, was a controversial figure in the bureau. He repeatedly faced criticism from Trump.
"How can FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the man in charge, along with leakin' James Comey, of the Phony Hillary Clinton investigation (including her 33,000 illegally deleted emails) be given $700,000 for wife's campaign by Clinton Puppets during investigation?" Trump asked in a Dec. 2017 tweet.
On Jan. 29, 2018, McCabe was “removed” from his post, taking “terminal leave” until his planned retirement in March. However, he was ultimately fired before he was set to leave his post.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller was tasked with overseeing the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election after Sessions recused himself.
Mueller led the FBI through the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and served under presidential administrations of both parties.
His Russia probe has led to charges for four former Trump campaign officials, although none of the charges directly stem from misconduct during the election.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.