FBI agent who criticised Trump sacked
Posted on 04/28/19 3:24 PM
Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who came under fire by US President Donald Trump and other Republicans for sending text messages that disparaged the candidate during the presidential campaign, has been sacked, his lawyer says.
Strzok is the third high-ranking person to be fired from the FBI during the Trump administration, including former Director James Comey. During his FBI career, he rose to deputy assistant director, focusing on counterintelligence.
After Justice Department internal investigators found the texts, Strzok was reassigned from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign. The firing came after a lengthy internal investigation.
Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement on Monday that FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich made the decision to terminate his client.
The decision, Goelman added, was at odds with a recommendation by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which had called for Strzok to face a 60-day suspension and demotion from his supervisory responsibilities.
He also said it goes against promises that FBI Director Christopher Wray has made in the past about adhering to the proper processes on personnel matters.
A representative from the FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Trump took to Twitter not long after the news broke on Monday.
“Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI-finally,” wrote Trump, who had called for Strzok’s ouster before.
“The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer.”
A post under a newly created Twitter account under Strzok’s name said he was “deeply saddened” by the decision to fire him.
The post also linked to a GoFundMe page, which had raised more than $US48,700 toward a $US150,000 goal as of late Monday.
“All funds raised on this GoFundMe will be put into a trust dedicated to covering Pete’s hefty – and growing – legal costs and his lost income,” the fundraising website says.
Goelman said that his client’s firing was politically motivated and that his texts represented political speech protected by the First Amendment.