It took five months, but the FBI has finally fired the longtime agent who once worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation after it was revealed in text messages that he planned to sabotage President Donald Trump.
Former agent Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team a year ago after the text messages were first discovered, and the FBI had been reviewing his employment. Strzok’s lawyer said he was fired late Friday by FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich.
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In an explosive exchange with Congress, Strzok became a household name after yelling at a combative House hearing in July, speaking publicly for the first time since the texts were revealed. He insisted that the texts — including ones in which he said “we’ll stop” Trump from being president — did not reflect political bias and had not affected his investigations.
The other FBI employee in the text exchanges, Strzok’s then-lover Lisa Page, contradicted Strzok’s statements. Just days later, Page told Congressional investigators the text messages “mean exactly what they say.”
Strzok was also a lead investigator on the probe into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s email sever in 2016, and critics say he intentionally downplayed the investigation internally to help his favored candidate win the White House.
Republicans were livid at the hearing, which several times devolved into a shouting match.
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House Republicans cheered Strzok’s firing, with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy saying on Twitter that it was “long overdue.”
The firing of anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok is welcome, if overdue. By exhibiting such rampant bias, Strzok did enormous damage to the FBI and to the country.
— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) August 13, 2018
Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Strzok on Twitter, saying his critical text messages showed that Mueller’s investigation is a hoax.
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The president responded to the news of Strzok’s firing with the following tweet —
Agent Peter Strzok was just fired from the FBI – finally. The list of bad players in the FBI & DOJ gets longer & longer. Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the Witch Hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total Hoax. No Collusion, No Obstruction – I just fight back!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 13, 2018