The Federal Bureau of Investigation fired agent Peter Strzok — the agent who sent text messages critical of Donald Trump — on Friday, according to the Washington Post.
Strzok, who assisted in leading the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, exchanged the anti-Trump messages with another FBI official, his then-lover Lisa Page. The president had previously likened those texts to treason. Strzok was also integral to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
However, Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, told the Post that the firing was unusual, as Strzok was previously assigned a demotion and a 60-day suspension by the office that normally handles employee discipline. In the messages, Strzok had called Trump a “fucking idiot” and expressed disdain over his run for office. After the messages were discovered, Strzok was reassigned from the investigation in July 2017 to a role in human resources at the FBI.
Trump has tweeted about Strzok several times since the trove of thousands of text messages were released, including once on Saturday. He’s called Strzok a “sick loser,” incompetent, corrupt and “leader of the rigged witch hunt,” also known as the investigation headed by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Just as often, Trump has slammed Strzok for his affair with Page.
“Will the FBI ever recover it's once stellar reputation, so badly damaged by Comey, McCabe, Peter S and his lover, the lovely Lisa Page, and other top officials now dismissed or fired? So many of the great men and women of the FBI have been hurt by these clowns and losers!” Trump said in a tweet.
Goelman has accused FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich, who ordered Strzok’s firing, of not allowing a “fair and independent examination of the facts.”
“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” Goelman said, according to CNBC.
Trump has lobbed criticism at many involved with the investigation, including his own Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who he declared “scared stiff” and “missing in action” in a weekend tweet.
Strzok’s firing comes on the heels of deputy director Andrew McCabe’s departure. McCabe has said his firing -- which came a day before his scheduled retirement -- was politically motivated. Trump wasted no time tweeting about Strzok again on Monday. “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 said.
Cover: FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok testifies before a House Judiciary Committee joint hearing on "oversight of FBI and Department of Justice actions surrounding the 2016 election" on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)