Fired FBI agent Peter Strzok – who played a central role into the now debunked investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia – is now arguing that his politically charged anti-Trump text messages are protected under the First Amendment.
This argument is so weak, considering his texts were mainly made on the bureau’s government issued phones, which require FBI agents to use them for work purposes only.
Strzok, who once was deputy head of the FBI’s counterintelligence office, is suing the Department of Justice for reinstatement into the FBI. He stressed in a new court filing Monday, with the federal district court that “firing an employee for the content of his or her non-public communications is unconstitutional, irrespective of any balancing interests,” which would include damage to the FBI’s reputation and other mitigating factors.
In his claim against the DOJ he argues that he didn’t leak his texts, instead it was the DOJ, therefore he argues, his texts should be considered private speech. He then argues that he shouldn’t be held to a higher legal standard, using the 1968 Supreme Court case Pickering v. Board of Education. The Pickering case applied to public statements by government employees.
Strzok said he was entitled to “develop a full factual record through discovery.” He said it would be premature to dismiss the case at this early stage.
Strzok’s filing was a response to the DOJ’s motion to dismiss his lawsuit to be reinstated to the FBI by November. The Justice Department slammed Strzok in its motion to dismiss Strzok’s case stating that the embattled former FBI agent admitted to conducting official FBI business on his personal iMessage account and violated FBI regulations in use of his work issued cell phone.
For example, the DOJ included a letter from the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) regarding its own investigation of Strzok that stated in part that “the investigation uncovered numerous occasions on which you used your personal email account to conduct FBI business…you claimed your ‘usual practice’ was to double delete the work emails after you sent them. You acknowledged you had been issued an FBI laptop to work from home but claimed you did not know how to properly log on to use the machine.”
Unbelievable that Strzok gave these excuses to OPR, considering he was the top of the bureau’s counterintelligence division.
First of all, Strzok played a central role both in the investigation into the Trump campaign and Hillary Clinton’s use of an unsecured server to send classified emails. His text messages were sent on his government issued phone, which is not his private phone but owned by the government. Those text messages revealed exactly how biased the FBI agents conducting the investigation felt about their subject: President Trump.
In fact, when his anti-Trump texts were first discovered by Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Strzok was removed in the summer of 2017, from then-Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation. Mueller’s team felt his texts were biased enough to remove Strzok from the investigation and they were right to do so.
Remember these texts messages sent Strzok’s sent on his FBI issued unsecured cell phone to his then lover FBI Attorney Lisa Page.
Strzok called Trump “abysmal” “idiot” and a “disaster” in texts he sent to Page.
At the time, she was working for then FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe was also fired from the FBI after the DOJ’s Inspector General caught him in a multitude of lies and leaking to the media.
In August 2016, after Page wrote to Strzok that Trump was “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok then responded with “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Page, who was recently interviewed by Rachael Maddow, couldn’t make a logical explanation for the “We’ll stop it” part of the text and wanted to give the impression that Strzok (let me reiterate: he was central to the investigation into Trump) was making the statement in general terms and that the electorate wouldn’t vote for him. Right!
I really do believe Strzok and Page think Americans are plain dumb and can’t see the forest through the trees.
Further, Strzok was also one of two FBI special agents to interview former National Security Advisor Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is now awaiting sentencing on Jan. 28. Remember what former FBI Director James Comey said about sending Strzok and FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka to conduct the surprise interview of Flynn at the White House in Jan. 24, 2017.
Comey had told NBC’s Nicole Wallace that he sent the two FBI agents because he believed he could get away with it.
“I sent them,” said Comey to Wallace. “Something we’ve — I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more organized investigation — a more organized administration. In the George W. Bush administration, for example, or the Obama administration.”
Strzok, Comey, Page and McCabe, among others involved in the investigation continue to act as if the world owes them something and they play out this crazy narrative in public appearances that stray far from the reality of the evidence that has been compiled against them.
These former senior federal law enforcement officials have been caught lying, leaking to the media, weaponizing the tools of their agency all in an attempt to stop then candidate Trump from becoming president and then to create a false narrative once he did become President.
They are doubling down on all their malfeasance and attempting to find any loop hole or explanation that they can muster to try to change the reality that we all know to be true.
Can you imagine doing this much damage to your company or being this callous with an investigation that effected the lives of the American people and then after being caught acting like you did nothing wrong? Worse, Strzok and the rest of his former FBI cohorts want to play the victim role. It’s actually really disgusting.
Think about this, if the FBI came to your house to question you on anything and you lied, manipulated data, leaked information, tried to explain the unexplainable despite the facts the FBI had against you what do you think would happen?
I can tell you what would happen, the FBI agents would walk you out of the house in handcuffs.
Strzok wasn’t fired because someone accidentally exposed text messages that had nothing to do with his performance on the job, he was fired because he lied and had extraordinary bias against a sitting president he despised. He lied to everyone, including his wife, who by chance discovered his affair with Page after seeing text messages on his phone.
Strzok doesn’t care about anyone but himself. He doesn’t care about the harm he’s done to the FBI and from his lawsuit he doesn’t seem to care about what he’s done to the American people.
It doesn’t seem to matter. He’s doubling down. What he doesn’t realize is that the American people are tired of it and frankly tired of him.