Aitan Goelman, Mr. Strzok’s lawyer, denounced his consumer’s dismissal. “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 F.B.I. intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters,” Mr. Goelman mentioned.
“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” Mr. Goelman added. “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.”
Mr. Strzok’s textual content message exchanges with Ms. Page demonstrated animosity towards Mr. Trump. In one, Ms. Page asks: Trump is “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Mr. Strzok responds: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” The inspector normal, who uncovered the messages, discovered no evidence that the pair imposed their political opinions on their investigative choices however cited that change as “not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”
The report by the inspector normal, Michael E. Horowitz, that preceded Mr. Strzok’s firing not solely criticized his conduct in sending the texts but additionally his use of non-public electronic mail accounts to deal with delicate info. In addition, the inspector normal criticized Mr. Strzok’s choice to not transfer swiftly to look at new emails associated to the Clinton investigation simply weeks earlier than the 2016 election.
Mr. Horowitz mentioned in his report that he was “deeply troubled” by the textual content messages. Hundreds exchanged over months had been discovered in which the pair disparaged Mr. Trump and, to a lesser extent, Mrs. Clinton, exchanged work gossip and bantered.
Mr. Strzok grew to become emblematic of Mr. Trump’s unfounded assertions so-called deep state of bureaucrats against him was undermining his presidency. Mr. Trump contended that Mr. Strzok focused the president and accused Mr. Strzok of being “treasonous” and a “disgrace.” Mr. Strzok informed lawmakers that he by no means leaked details about the Russia inquiry, which may have upended the election and harm Mr. Trump’s probabilities of turning into president.
After Mr. Horowitz uncovered the textual content messages, the particular counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who had by then taken over the investigation, eliminated Mr. Strzok from his staff final summer time. He was reassigned to the F.B.I.’s human assets division. Ms. Page, who had left Mr. Mueller’s staff earlier than the invention of the textual content messages, give up the F.B.I. in May.