Embattled former FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was first removed from the Special Counsel’s investigation into President Trump’s campaign and later fired, is suing the FBI and Justice Department for reinstatement, claiming “unrelenting pressure” from Trump led to his dismissal, according to reports.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday, and Strzok’s counsel argued in the report that he was unlawfully fired. The counsel argued that his political speech was protected under the First Amendment and those right’s were violated.
Strzok was under investigation by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz for his role in the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton and her use of a private server to send classified emails. He is expected to be named in the IG’s upcoming report on how the Russia investigation was handled by the FBI.
He was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in 2017 and then fired from the FBI in August, 2018. The FBI fired Strzok after an extensive review by Horowitz’s office into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation and was fired by the FBI. Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team after the IG discovered hundreds of anti-Trump text messages to his then paramour former FBI Attorney Lisa Page.
Horowitz released a lengthy 500-page report last year that fiercely criticized Strzok for his conduct, saying he displayed a “biased state of mind” during a key phase of the Clinton email investigation.
Strzok, a 21-year veteran of the bureau, also faced a barrage of attacks from Trump and Republicans after an internal investigation from the DOJ revealed he had sent messages critical of the then-Republican candidate during the 2016 presidential race to then-FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The two were having an extramarital affair at the time.