Published: Wed, August 15, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

FBI fires veteran agent over anti-Trump text messages

FBI fires veteran agent over anti-Trump text messages

Mr Strzok, in testimony before Congress last month, said that his comments about Mr Trump in messages to Ms Page were a reaction to the Republican candidate's "horrible, disgusting behaviour" on the campaign trail.

Goelman said that his client's firing was politically motivated and that his texts represented political speech protected by the First Amendment. Goelman said that the deputy director's decision comes after the head of the office that normally handles disciplinary actions decided Strzok should instead face a demotion and 60-day suspension.

Goelman said the FBI departed from established precedent by firing Strzok, who had served in the bureau for 21 years.

The president also tweeted that the Clinton investigation "was a total fraud on the American public and should be properly redone!"

Last year, FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from the probe into Russian interference, after discovering that he had been having an affair with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The FBI had been reviewing his employment.

"The guy who was text messaging on the clock about how he was going to take down Donald Trump, well now he got fired".

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North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, one of the leading critics of the FBI investigations, said Strzok was sacked "because of what his own written words plainly showed: he was willing to use his official FBI position to try and stop President Trump from getting elected". Trump is a huge fan of those agreements but legal experts say they are useless at controlling former White House aides.

Because Strzok, who is 48, was sacked before his 50th birthday, he potentially stands to lose a portion of his pension benefits.

Strzok had become the poster child for the perceived anti-Trump "deep state" among the president's supporters after it was revealed he sent text messages to his girlfriend (and co-worker) vowing to stop Trump from winning the 2016 election. Strzok himself told investigators that he didn't want to prevent a potential Trump victory, arguing that the proof of this rested in the fact that the investigation into potential Russian collusion remained confidential.

An independent review by the Justice Department's inspector general into how the Clinton investigation was handled was highly critical of Strzok but ultimately concluded that anti-Trump bias didn't affect investigative decisions, including the recommendation against prosecuting Clinton for mishandling classified information.

Jordan, the House Republican, said Federal Bureau of Investigation officials told him Strzok could have answered "about 90%" of the questions he declined to address during his House testimony.

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