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Peter Strzok, Who Sent Anti-Trump Texts, Fired From FBI

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who came under fire for sending anti-Trump texts from his work phone during the 2016 presidential election, has been fired from the FBI.

According to Strzok’s attorney, the now former FBI agent was fired on Friday after serving in the agency for 21 years.

“The decision to fire Special Agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical Bureau practice, but also contradicts (FBI) Director (Christopher) Wray’s testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters,” Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said in a statement.

Strzok shared his lawyer’s statement on Twitter, adding that he was “deeply saddened” by the agency’s decision.

“Deeply saddened by this decision,” Strzok posted Monday on Twitter. “It has been an honor to serve my country and work with the fine men and women of the FBI.”

The FBI said in a statement that Strzok “was subject to the standard FBI review and disciplinary process after conduct highlighted in the IG report was referred to the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility.”

According to ABC News, Goelman said Strzok’s firing “departed from established precedent by firing” Strzok, particularly because FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich orders went further than the recommendation of the FBI’s ethics office.

The office, however, said it reviewed the investigative materials, along with Strzok and his lawyer’s written and oral responses before issuing a decision, adding that the deputy director had the authority to modify disciplinary penalties if it is in the agency’s best interest.

Strzok had been publicly pressed for his anti-Trump tweets during an open hearing in July with Republican on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. Strzok had been overseeing the FBI’s probe of Russia’s interference in the election when the text messages were sent, CNN reports.

Strzok also helped lead the Hillary Clinton email probe, and Republicans insisted that both investigations had been tainted by political bias.

Goelman said Strzok’s firing “should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”

“A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of Congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work,” Goelman said in the statement.

“In fact, in his decades of service, Special Agent Strzok has proved himself to be one of the country’s top counterintelligence officers, leading to only one conclusion – the decision to terminate was taken in response to political pressure, and to punish Special Agent Strzok for political speech protected by the First Amendment, not on a fair and independent examination of the facts. It is a decision that produces only one winner – those who seek to harm our country and weaken our democracy,” the statement said.

President Donald Trump criticized Strzok Monday on Twitter and weighed in on his firing.

“Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI – finally. The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the Witch Hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total Hoax. No Collusion, No Obstruction – I just fight back!” Trump wrote.

“Just fired Agent Strzok, formerly of the FBI, was in charge of the Crooked Hillary Clinton sham investigation. It was a total fraud on the American public and should be properly redone!” Trump wrote in a second tweet.

Emily Veith was previously the Branded Content Copywriter at Her Campus, where she works to create fun and engaging native editorial and social content. Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.
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