FBI agent who criticised US President in text messages, is fired
Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who came under fire by Republicans for sending politically charged text messages that disparaged United States President Donald Trump, was fired from the bureau late Friday, his attorney said on Monday.
Strzok is the third high-ranking person to be fired from the FBI during the Trump administration.
Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said in a statement 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 Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which had called for Strzok to face a 60-day suspension and demotion from his supervisory responsibilities.
“The decision to fire Special Agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical Bureau practice, but also contradicts Director 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.
Goelman said that his client’s firing was politically motivated and that his texts represented political speech protected by the First Amendment.
Earlier this year, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe after a scathing report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog concluded he had leaked information to reporters and misled investigators about his actions.