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FBI fires agent Peter Strzok over anti-Trump texts

Image source: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The FBI has fired Peter Strzok, the agent who sent numerous anti-Trump texts while he was part of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Who is Peter Strzok?

Strzok was part of the FBI team that investigated Clinton's use of a private email server. He would later work on the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Special counsel Robert Mueller fired Strzok from the Russia investigation after it was discovered that Strzok had been sending texts to a fellow FBI agent bashing then-candidate Donald Trump and saying that Trump would never become president because “we’ll stop it,” while he was working on the Clinton email investigation during the 2016 election. After leaving Mueller's investigation, Strzok was reassigned to human resources but was still employed by the bureau.

The FBI agent Strzok was texting, Lisa Page, has also since left the FBI on her own accord. Strzok and Page were having an affair at the time the messages were sent.

What happened?

FBI Deputy Director David L. Bowdich ordered the firing on Friday, the Post reported, overruling a decision by the bureau's Office of Professional Responsibility, which had decided that Strzok should be demoted and suspended for 60 days.

Strzok's lawyer, Aitan Goelman, expressed his disappointment at Bowdich's decision.

“The decision to fire special agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical bureau practice, but also contradicts Director [Christopher] Wray’s testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters,” Goelman said, adding that he thought that Friday's “decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans.”

What about the hearing?

On July 12, Strzok testified before a joint session of the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. During the hearing, Strzok repeatedly insisted that all his actions while at the FBI were completely free from bias.

Strzok also insisted that the only reason he was eventually removed from the investigation was because keeping him on the case was bad for public relations, not because he was being punished for his actions.

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