Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Federal Bureau of Investigation fires agent Peter Strzok who criticized Trump in text messages

Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok testifies before a joint committee hearing of the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill Chip Somodevilla Getty Images North America
Leonard Rios | 13 August, 2018, 20:44

Strzok's attorney, Aitan Goelman, said FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich ordered the firing after an internal disciplinary review.

The FBI has fired Peter Strzok, the agent who sent numerous anti-Trump texts while he was part of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Strzok helped lead the investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 election. Trump contended that Strzok targeted the president and accused Strzok of being "treasonous" and a "disgrace".

Strzok vigorously defended himself at a combative House hearing in July, speaking publicly for the first time since the texts were revealed.

"Late Friday afternoon, the Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation overruled the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) and departed from established precedent by firing 21-year Federal Bureau of Investigation veteran Peter Strzok", Aitan Goelman, attorney for Strzok, said.

Goelman said that the deputy director "departed from established precedent by firing" Strzok.

Strzok's lawyer charged the decision also contradicts FBI Director Christopher Wray's "testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI meant to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters".

What about the hearing?

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Later came another expletive-laden text that ended with the ominous warning: "The place is going to burn just like you planned". The arraignment for Forrest Clark was supposed to be today, but the judge in the case said the suspect refused to go to court.

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The incident fell under the ongoing mission of Noble Eagle, the air defense mission launched after the 9/11 attacks, Hillier said. He said he heard a loud "boom", then saw smoke coming from a spot in Puget Sound where the plane appeared to have crashed.

Additionally, in his report the inspector general noted Strzok showed a "willingness" to hamper candidate Trump's election chances. "No he won't. We'll stop it".

Page questioned whether Trump would become president.

Democrats accused Republicans of trying to divert attention from Mueller's investigation and Trump's ties to Russian Federation by excessively focusing on Strzok.

Strzok, who was a deputy assistant director for counterintelligence at the bureau, has apologized for sending the messages and said they reflected personal views that did not affect his work. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion and called the investigation a witch hunt. He is the second senior FBI agent to be fired as a result of the inspector general's investigation.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page arrives for a House committee deposition, one day after the session involving Strzok.

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.

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.

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