Thursday, 20 September, 2018

FBI Fires Anti-Trump Texting Agent Peter Strzok

Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok speaks during a joint hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees on Capitol Hill Mark Wilson Getty Images
Ellis Copeland | 13 August, 2018, 20:11

The FBI agent who came under scrutiny for anti-Trump texts he sent from a work phone during the 2016 presidential campaign has now been fired, according to his lawyer.

Goelman said in a statement the FBI's deputy director "overruled" the bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility, FoxNews.com reported.

Goelman said in a statement Monday that Strzok was sacked because of political pressure and "to punish Special Agent Strzok for political speech protected by the First Amendment".

The FBI declined to comment.

He handled many important espionage cases including one involving a former Central Intelligence Agency officer suspected of working for China and a group of Russian spies who had been working undercover in the United States.

"At no time in any of these texts did those personal beliefs ever enter into the realm of any action I took", Strzok said during his testimony.

"Russian Collusion with the Trump Campaign, one of the most successful in history, is a TOTAL HOAX".

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The inspector general's report also took issue with the reaction by Strzok and other FBI officials to the discovery of possible new evidence in the Clinton investigation, known internally as Midyear Exam, in late September 2016 on a laptop that belonged to the disgraced politician Anthony Weiner, the husband of a top Clinton aide.

Trump has also mocked Strzok and Page as "FBI lovers", and exploited their relationship and anti-Trump views to try to discredit Mueller's ongoing probe.

Page questioned whether Trump would become president. As recently as Saturday, Trump tweeted an attack on Strzok, Page and former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James B. Comey and deputy director Andrew McCabe. Trump tweeted. "The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer".

Additionally, in his report the inspector general noted Strzok showed a "willingness" to hamper candidate Trump's election chances.

At a congressional hearing earlier this month, Strzok sparred with Republican lawmakers who raised questions about his character and even his marriage.

McCabe - who, unlike Comey, could not be removed at the will of the president - has said his termination was a politically motivated attempt to undermine the Mueller probe.

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