Peter Strzok, the former FBI investigator who headed the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is suing the bureau for caving to “unrelenting pressure” from President Donald Trump to fire him.
Strzok accuses the FBI of unfairly punishing him for a series of texts he sent expressing disapproval of Trump’s candidacy. He also alleges the Department of Justice violated his privacy by releasing those texts. According to the suit, the FBI “summarily fired Special Agent Strzok” despite a decision by Assistant Director Candice Will to demote and suspend him without pay. “The discharge decision was made by Deputy Director David Bowdich, and was the result of unrelenting pressure from President Trump and his political allies in Congress and the media. The campaign to fire Strzok included constant tweets and other disparaging statements by the President, as well as direct appeals from the President to then-Attorney General Jefferson Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray to fire Strzok, which were chronicled in the press.”
As Politico reports, “Strzok’s lawsuit accuses [the Justice Department and FBI] of violating his First and Fifth Amendment rights by firing him over the texts and then depriving him of due process to challenge his expulsion. And, Strzok argues, DOJ’s decision to give the incendiary messages to reporters before handing them to Congress — generating blaring headlines — was ‘deliberate and unlawful,’ a violation of the Privacy Act.”