House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy stated that Peter Strzok demonstrated “textbook bias” against Donald Trump.
The FBI has fired official Peter Strzok, who played a lead part in both the Russian meddling and Hillary Clinton email probe. Strzok had more recently become a source of political controversy following the revelation that he had sent anti-Trump text messages. His attorney, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement Monday that his client, who was a 21-year FBI veteran, was terminated on Friday afternoon. Goelman asserted that this situation was a departure from standard practice and was politically motivated. Further, he said that bureau Deputy Director David Bowdich had “overruled” the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility in order to remove Strzok. “This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” the attorney exclaimed.
President Trump Comments On Peter Strzok’s Firing
President Trump and his array of allies have pounded the former FBI agent for months. Moreover, they have focused on him as the poster child for anti-Trump bias within the bureau and within the Justice Department. In reaction to the dismissal, the president tweeted, “finally,” while asking whether the investigators will finally drop the Russia case.
In addition, the president stated that “Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI – finally. Possibilities of bad players inside 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!” During the weekend, Trump had tweeted that Strzok and the like have “badly damaged” the FBI’s reputation. He even called them out as “clowns and losers!”
Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, And The Special Counsel
Robert Mueller had removed Strzok from the special counsel probe a year ago. Mueller had done so when he discovered that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with Lisa Page. Page was a working associate of Strzok’s while on FBI special counsel and has also been romantically linked to him. The two exchanged additional, politically charged communication with one another besides the anti-Trump messages.
In June, officials escorted Strzok from his FBI office and took away his security clearance. This event occurred amid the aftermath of a scathing DOJ inspector general report. The report largely dealt with the DOJ and FBI’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Most prominently, it revealed messages that “appeared to mix political opinion with discussions” during the probe. These messages were namely between Strzok and Page. Page, meanwhile, has already left the bureau as of earlier this year.
Their text messages first came to light in 2017. They showed that Strzok and Page had been discussing 2016 campaign politics and were repeatedly criticizing Trump. In one particular message, Strzok called Trump an “idiot.” Messages continued to trickle out after this. Some of them reflected apparent concern about being too tough on Hillary Clinton. This, again, happened during the investigation of her use of a private email system.
Did Peter Strzok’s Text Messages Fully Expose His Political Bias?
The IG ultimately found no evidence that the bias of several FBI agents had impacted prosecutorial decisions within the Clinton email probe. Nonetheless, Republicans have repeatedly voiced concerns about anti-Trump bias. They maintain that this bias has played a significant role from the very start of the investigation into Russian meddling. It is an investigation which entertains the idea of potential collusion between Russia and Trump associates in 2016.
One Strzok text essentially vowed to “stop” Trump from becoming president. In the midst of a fiery congressional hearing last month, Strzok sought to clear his name and address these various, controversial messages. He insists that his personal opinions did not influence his work. Notwithstanding, Republicans ripped right into the former FBI official. Moreover, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy stated that Strzok demonstrated “textbook bias.”
The inspector general report, meanwhile, referred to a list of five other FBI employees up for examination concerning politically charged texts. This important detail hints that the bureau may be considering more disciplinary action for additional FBI workers.
Peter Strzok Fires Back At The FBI Amid Trump Triumph
Trump’s allies cheered the previous agent’s termination. “Peter Strzok was fired from the FBI 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. He tarnished the FBI’s sterling reputation and severely damaged public trust in an institution where trust is paramount. His conduct should deeply concern every American.” House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) made these comments in a recent statement to Fox News.
Strzok’s attorney, meanwhile, blasted the bureau quite prominently. He stated that the deputy director “reversed the decision of the career FBI official responsible for employee discipline who concluded, through an independent review process, that a 60-day suspension and demotion from supervisory duties was the appropriate punishment.” He noted further, “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.” However, the Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment on these statements.
Interestingly enough, the “Friends Of Special Agent Peter Strzok” have created a GoFundMe page for him in the wake of his firing. This page reportedly generated more than $250,000 on the first day of its existence. One simple question may come to mind, especially in light of America’s current, highly polarized political state. Why would thousands of people so easily and readily donate so much money to such a controversial government agent?
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What are your thoughts on the FBI’s firing of Peter Strzok and the striking success of his subsequent GoFundMe page? Let us know in the comments below.
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