Peter Strzok, one of the FBI agents who was caught sending anti-Trump text messages late last year, has been fired from the FBI, The Washington Post reports. Before the discovery of his texts, Strzok worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
According to Strzok’s lawyer, Friday’s firing contests decisions made by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility. Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, states the employee discipline office had previously decided Strzok would receive a demotion and a 60-day suspension.
“The decision to fire Special Agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical Bureau practice, but also contradicts Director Wray’s testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters,” said Goelman in a statement shared by a writer for The Atlantic. “This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”
Goelman said an investigation that included Congressional testimony from Strzok failed to prove that the agent’s personal views ever affected his investigative work. However, The Washington Post reported the Justice Department determined Strzok’s personal bias could have affected his thinking while he worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
President Donald Trump weighed in Monday afternoon on Twitter, saying the Clinton investigation “should be properly redone.”
Strzok had been an FBI agent for 22 years.