Peter Strzok Fired From the FBI
Peter Strzok has been officially fired from the FBI after a lengthy career in which he was considered a top counterintelligence agent. FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich made the decision to terminate the former agent on Friday, August the 10th. Mr. Strzok's attorney has made a statement in which he attempts to convey that Strzok's firing was improper and violated FBI protocol. The basis of his belief stems from an internal recommendation by the Bureau's Investigation’s Office of Professional Responsibility, which had called for Strzok to face a 60-day suspension and demotion from his supervisory responsibilities, rather than termination. Regardless of the words of an attorney, the termination is binding and cannot be appealed on any legal grounds.
Conduct Unbecoming an Agent
Former agent Strzok has been connected to almost every aspect of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election. He was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team, but was fired from that team when it was learned he was having an affair with another agent, Lisa Page. Additionally, text messages between the two indicated a potential bias against President Trump and that investigative decisions were likely influenced by that bias. The most notable text messages included one stating that "we'll stop" candidate Trump from being elected and another referring to an "insurance policy" discussed in Andy's office.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz issued a report last week which stated that former agent Strzok was at the center of partisan inappropriate political messages against Trump. It also demonstrated that Strzok was in support of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The Inspector General drew his conclusions from texts and other communications that were exchanged among FBI agents through the FBI’s internal communications system. Also in the report, Horowitz expressed that the actions by Strzok damaged the reputation of the FBI as a neutral fact-based law enforcement agency.
The Clinton E-Mail Investigation
Strzok had previously been involved in the investigation of the Hillary Clinton E-mail probe, which led to no criminal charges being levied against the former Secretary of State. The mainstream media reported that it was Strzok who changed former FBI Director James Comey’s draft language describing Clinton’s actions as ‘grossly negligent’ to ‘extremely careless (grossly negligent is a phrase with legal significance). Strzok was also the lead FBI agent who interviewed both Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton's two top aides. Mills and Abedin both made misleading statements to the FBI in that interview but were not subjected to any disciplinary actions.
The 2016 Presidential election is long over, however the fallout continues to emerge with great noise and fanfare. Special Prosecutor Mueller is currently seeking an interview with President Trump while simultaneously managing the trial of Paul Manafort and a looming showdown with Russian corporations that his group brought charges against. President Trump has been very vocal about the way the entire investigation has been handled. There are still unanswered questions on the FISA warrants and the influences of Nellie and Bruce Ohr in the larger picture. With the Midterm elections coming soon, it's a guarantee that both sides will be playing their best cards in order to tip the scales in their favor. Stay tuned for more.
© 2018 Ralph Schwartz