The FBI has fired Agent Peter Strzok, who helped lead the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election until officials discovered he had been sending anti-Trump texts.
Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s lawyer, said FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing on Friday — even though the director of the FBI office that normally handles employee discipline had decided Strzok should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension. Goelman said the move undercuts the FBI’s repeated assurances that Strzok would be afforded the normal disciplinary process.
“This isn’t the normal process in any way more than name,” Goelman said.
Strzok wasn't a low-level player at the law enforcement agency. In fact, he was the chief of the FBI's counterespionage section. He was in charge of overseeing the criminal investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and quickly volunteered to work on Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the 2016 presidential election. He was removed from that position last year when revelations of bias became known to Mueller.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, who has been doggedly pursuing accountability for the FBI, believe Strzok's firing paints a broader picture of the ongoing Mueller probe.
"The firing of Peter Strzok is another body blow to the credibility of the Mueller special counsel operation. Strzok, who hated President Trump, compromised both the Clinton and Trump investigations that saw Hillary Clinton protected and Donald Trump illicitly targeted," Fitton released in a statement. "Strzok’s anti-Trump texts show the Russia investigation he helped invent with Clinton campaign operatives is irredeemably compromised. As Mueller’s operation is founded on Strzok’s corrupt activities, it must be shut down."
Meanwhile, President Trump's lawyers continue to negotiate whether he will sit down with Mueller for an interview.