Former FBI counter-intelligence agent Peter Strzok’s firing stirred up strong reactions Monday, including a call for a new investigation and prosecution of his actions during and after the 2016 presidential campaign.
“It’s about time that Peter Strzok was fired,” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told LifeZette. “There are lots of fair and impartial employees at the FBI. Strzok clearly was not one of them.”
Strzok (pictured above right) has been embroiled in controversy for sending hundreds of virulently prejudiced text messages against President Donald Trump while he was investigating him.
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FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich ordered the firing Friday, which overruled a 60-day suspension and demotion recommended by the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility.
“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” Strzok lawyer Aitan Goelman said in a statement Monday. “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.”
But Jordan was far from alone among lawmakers cheering Strzok’s removal. Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) tweeted he’s glad at least one politically biased individual was removed from the FBI. Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) said it is welcomed news, though long overdue.
“Peter Strzok was fired from the FBI because of what his own written words plainly showed,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said in a statement. “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.”
The House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have been investigating decisions DOJ and FBI made during two major investigations tied to the presidential election of 2016. Strzok was previously a key part of both investigations.
“His conduct should deeply concern every American,” Meadows said. “I hope this development will allow us to move forward in restoring the character of an agency where so many brave men and women work tirelessly to keep America safe. This is the right decision. It’s about time.”
Special counsel Robert Mueller has been leading an investigation which is looking at whether Trump or his associates colluded with Russian interests during the campaign. Strzok jumped into the special counsel team from an earlier investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton using a private email server while secretary of state.
“I think it’s a great day for the FBI and even better day for America,” Michael Caputo, a former communications adviser with the Trump campaign, told LifeZette. “Peter Strzok should have been fired the day they discovered those texts but instead he’s been protected and shuffled around until they were able finally to understand he was a pox on the entire FBI.”
Caputo was investigated for alleged communications with Russian interests during the campaign, actions which he has strenuously denied and for which he has never been charged.
Strzok has helped ruin careers and personal lives of many who got caught in his crosshairs, according to Caputo. He pointed to Navy Commander (Ret.) J.D. Gordon, who joined the Trump campaign as a national security official and Andrew Miller, who has been subpoenaed for his connection to filmmaker and Trump ally Roger Stone.
“Andrew Miller is a house painter in St. Louis,” Caputo said. “J.D. Gordon is a retired Navy commander. The list of people who have lost jobs and lost opportunities is long. It’s still going on. The entirety of what Peter Strzok brought, his partisan investigative behavior, hasn’t even been revealed yet.”
“The inspector general of the Department of Justice found that Peter Strzok was inclined to act to stop Donald Trump from being president of the United States and yet they didn’t fire him for some inexplicable reason,” Caputo said. “So this is a very good day when the FBI can wash their hands of a bad seed even more.”
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“His name runs throughout the redacted materials and the underacted materials we have seen coming out of the congressional requests for information to the Department of Justice,” Caputo said. “I believe that Peter Strzok should be fully investigated, tried and if found guilty, jailed. And the sooner we kick off that investigation the better.”
“I believe the only way to get to the bottom of all of the terrible things that Peter Strzok has done in pursuit of his partisan agenda is to fully investigate him with an independent investigation,” Caputo said. “This investigation needs to be independent and immediate.”
In addition to Strzok, former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were also fired — along with others who have been demoted, reassigned or have since left the agency.
Page, for instance, left the bureau in May 2018.