The FBI has fired Peter Strzok, the counterintelligence agent who came under fire for sending disparaging text messages about President Trump and other political figures during the 2016 election.
Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, confirmed the firing, which took place on Friday. He blasted the decision in a statement, saying the “Deputy Director of the FBI overruled the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and departed from established precedent by firing 21-year FBI veteran Peter Strzok.”
“The decision to fire Special Agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical Bureau practice, but also contradicts Director [Christopher] Wray’s testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters,” Goelman said in a statement.
Strzok, a 21-year veteran of the bureau, has faced a barrage of attacks from Trump and Republicans after an internal investigation from the Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed he had sent messages critical of the then-Republican candidate during the 2016 presidential race to then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The two were having an extramarital affair at the time.
GOP critics say Strzok’s texts with Page are clear evidence of anti-Trump bias. They argue the pair’s disdain toward Trump may have influenced two of the FBI’s key probes, given Strzok’s central role in both the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State and the beginnings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference.
Democrats as well as Strzok’s lawyer have claimed that the attacks on Strzok are an attempt to undermine Mueller’s probe.
“It is a decision that produces only one winner – those who seek to harm our country and weaken our democracy,” Goelman’s statement continues.
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