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FBI Agent Peter Strzok Fired Over Anti-Trump Text Messages

Ryan J. Reilly

HuffPost
 
 
(Joshua Roberts / Reuters)
 
(Joshua Roberts / Reuters)

WASHINGTON ― FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was taken off special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his texts disparaging President Donald Trump were discovered by Justice Department investigators, has been fired from the bureau despite the recommendations of a career FBI official.

Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said in a statement that Strzok was fired late Friday afternoon despite a FBI career official’s recommendation that Strzok face a 60-day suspension and a demotion.

Goelman called the decision “a departure from typical Bureau practice” and said it contradicted FBI Director Chris Wray’s guarantee that the bureau would follow its regular process, despite Trump’s disdain for the now-former FBI official.

“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans. A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of Congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work,” Goelman said. “In fact, in his decades of service, Special Agent Strzok has proved himself to be one of the country’s top counterintelligence officers, leading to only one conclusion ― the decision to terminate was taken in response to political pressure, and to punish Special Agent Strzok for political speech protected by the First Amendment, not on a fair and independent examination of the facts. It is a decision that produces only one winner ― those who seek to harm our country and weaken our democracy.”

Strzok exchanged texts with former FBI official Lisa Page that disparaged Trump as well as other politicians, including various Democrats. He testified last monthafter the release of an inspector general report on the handling of the FBI’s Hillary Clinton probe that described anti-Trump texts exchanged by bureau officials.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ryan Reilly is HuffPost’s senior justice reporter covering the Justice Department, federal law enforcement, criminal justice and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at ryan.reilly@huffpost.com or on Signal at 202-527-9261.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
 
 
 

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Ryan J. Reilly

HuffPost
 
 
(Joshua Roberts / Reuters)
 
(Joshua Roberts / Reuters)

WASHINGTON ― FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was taken off special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his texts disparaging President Donald Trump were discovered by Justice Department investigators, has been fired from the bureau despite the recommendations of a career FBI official.

Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said in a statement that Strzok was fired late Friday afternoon despite a FBI career official’s recommendation that Strzok face a 60-day suspension and a demotion.

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Goelman called the decision “a departure from typical Bureau practice” and said it contradicted FBI Director Chris Wray’s guarantee that the bureau would follow its regular process, despite Trump’s disdain for the now-former FBI official.

“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans. A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of Congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work,” Goelman said. “In fact, in his decades of service, Special Agent Strzok has proved himself to be one of the country’s top counterintelligence officers, leading to only one conclusion ― the decision to terminate was taken in response to political pressure, and to punish Special Agent Strzok for political speech protected by the First Amendment, not on a fair and independent examination of the facts. It is a decision that produces only one winner ― those who seek to harm our country and weaken our democracy.”

Strzok exchanged texts with former FBI official Lisa Page that disparaged Trump as well as other politicians, including various Democrats. He testified last monthafter the release of an inspector general report on the handling of the FBI’s Hillary Clinton probe that described anti-Trump texts exchanged by bureau officials.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Ryan Reilly is HuffPost’s senior justice reporter covering the Justice Department, federal law enforcement, criminal justice and legal affairs. Have a tip? Reach him at ryan.reilly@huffpost.com or on Signal at 202-527-9261.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.