FBI agent Peter Strzok has been fired from the FBI for anti-Trump text messages he sent his mistress and colleague Lisa Page during the 2016 presidential election.
“Late Friday afternoon, 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,” his lawyer Aitan Goelman said in a statement.”
Strzok’s text messages to Page revealed significant bias against then candidate Donald Trump and even one in which he pledged “we’ll stop” him from becoming president.
Strzok played a central role in the investigation of the Trump 2016 campaign and its alleged ties to the Russian government along with the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Strzok was also briefly employed by special counsel Robert Mueller but was removed from the investigation because of his text messages and dalliance with a colleague.
Trump has long questioned why Strzok continued to have a job within the FBI despite significant evidence of his wrongdoing.
A source briefed on the development said Strzok was escorted out Friday.
Goelman did not immediately respond to a question about the timing, but he did complain that Strzok is the victim of leaks that raise doubts about the fairness of the FBI’s handling of his case.
“Pete has steadfastly played by the rules and respected the process, and yet he continues to be the target of unfounded personal attacks, political games and inappropriate information leaks,” Goelman said.
Strzok’s removal from the building occurred one day after the inspector general released a report that examined, in part, whether the agent’s political opinions affected his work on the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email use as secretary of state.
While the report detailed Strzok’s “biased state of mind,” it concluded that these views did not ultimately affect the ultimate conclusions in the Clinton probe.
The IG is now examining whether Strzok’s beliefs played an unwarranted role in launching the Trump-Russia probe.
The episode also came four days before House and Senate hearings on DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which more broadly addressed alleged FBI misconduct in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election.
Horowitz’s report revealed new texts sent by Strzok, including one in which he appeared to vow to head off Trump’s election.
Asked by Page in August 2016 if Trump would become president, Strzok replied: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
read more: AJR