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FBI fired Peter Strzok

The FBI has fired agent Peter Strzok, who helped lead the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election until officials discovered his anti-Trump text messages.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 9:18 AM
Updated: Aug 14, 2018 9:25 AM

The FBI had "the power, but not the right" to fire now-former agent Peter Strzok for his anti-President Donald Trump texts, his attorney Aitan Goelman said Monday.

Speaking to Chris Cuomo on CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Goelman said that Strzok's firing was contrary to what the FBI had told them would happen.

"We had an agreement with the FBI's Office for Professional Responsibility (OPR), which is the main caretaker for internal discipline, that (Strzok) would get a 60-day suspension and a demotion," Goelman described. "At the last minute, that was countermanded by (FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich) and he was fired -- so yeah, we were surprised."

Countermanding such decisions "doesn't happen very often," Goelman continued, but "in this case, it is hard to reach any conclusion other than that the decision to reverse the OPR's decision was motivated at least largely by politics."

Goelman added, "We think that they had the power, but not the right to do it. ... There is a normal process that is followed for disciplining civil servants and fed employees. That process was followed here, but in form only and not in substance, and that's what our big objection is."

Strzok became known in December 2017 when reports showed special counsel Robert Mueller removed the counterintelligence expert from his team after an internal investigation revealed anti-Trump texts between him and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Strzok was removed from Mueller's team some time in the summer of 2017.

Those texts were later released to the public and showed Strzok and Page engaging in anti-Trump talk throughout the end of the 2016 campaign.

Facing accusations of bias, Strzok later defended a specific text exchange during a July 2018 congressional hearing, saying it was "in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero."

Goelman announced Strzok's termination from the FBI earlier Monday, writing in a statement that "the decision to fire Special Agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical Bureau practice, but also contradicts (FBI) Director (Christopher) Wray's testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters."

According to Goelman on "Cuomo Prime Time," it remains in question whether Strzok will attempt to appeal this decision.

"That's a question, does he fight, and the sub-question is how he fights," he said. "The letter from (Bowdich) said that this is the end of the road, and there are no more administrative appeals."

Goelman stressed that in spite of everything, Strzok "did want to stay. He loved the bureau, he loved his job, he was very committed to protecting the country and he was a great counterintelligence agent."

"I don't think (Strzok) would have necessarily wanted to work on the next high-profile political investigation, but in terms of going after spies from our adversaries who are undermining American national security, that's what motivated him, that's what he was good at, and that's what he wanted to continue doing," Goelman said.

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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 99390

Reported Deaths: 1733
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson13109243
Mobile9947207
Montgomery6835148
Madison537834
Tuscaloosa421373
Unassigned359961
Baldwin354425
Shelby328335
Marshall316736
Lee267845
Morgan239318
Etowah212131
DeKalb181913
Calhoun178414
Elmore172338
Walker152664
Houston139812
Russell13682
St. Clair133817
Limestone133313
Dallas132323
Franklin127420
Cullman122512
Colbert118113
Autauga116921
Lauderdale116719
Escambia108217
Talladega102614
Jackson9894
Tallapoosa85579
Chambers84138
Dale83424
Blount8004
Chilton7926
Butler76436
Coffee7616
Covington73520
Pike7097
Clarke6629
Barbour5755
Marion57424
Lowndes57224
Marengo55215
Hale47626
Bullock46411
Winston45311
Perry4424
Bibb4385
Wilcox42910
Monroe4214
Randolph40110
Pickens4009
Conecuh39310
Washington39112
Sumter36018
Lawrence3491
Macon33514
Crenshaw3185
Choctaw28312
Cherokee2737
Henry2633
Geneva2611
Clay2585
Greene25111
Lamar2222
Fayette2075
Cleburne1271
Coosa1012
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 122712

Reported Deaths: 1223
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby23238304
Davidson20620213
Rutherford655354
Hamilton613253
Knox460039
Williamson355125
Sumner343373
Unassigned316110
Out of TN292414
Wilson229023
Bradley194312
Montgomery193913
Sevier18867
Putnam176718
Trousdale15836
Robertson155819
Hamblen139614
Blount130311
Maury12577
Washington12522
Tipton120810
Madison110217
Sullivan99414
Bedford92811
Hardeman91717
Macon86013
Lake7870
Loudon7423
Gibson7175
Bledsoe7051
Fayette6988
Dickson6912
Anderson6846
Dyer6508
Cheatham5957
Henderson5932
Jefferson5684
Obion5654
Lawrence5626
McMinn54720
Coffee5453
Rhea5362
Warren5304
Carter5226
Lauderdale5088
Haywood5006
Greene4928
Cocke4752
Roane4752
Hawkins4727
Hardin4718
Cumberland4576
Smith4524
Weakley4514
Monroe4449
Giles38113
McNairy3785
DeKalb3602
Franklin3304
Carroll3143
Lincoln3021
Marshall3013
White2935
Henry2880
Johnson2800
Claiborne2720
Crockett2695
Hickman2680
Campbell2481
Wayne2262
Marion2244
Chester2212
Decatur2133
Polk2063
Grainger1970
Overton1951
Unicoi1660
Union1600
Benton1551
Cannon1470
Jackson1271
Humphreys1243
Morgan1221
Scott1190
Grundy1142
Meigs1060
Sequatchie1050
Fentress930
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Clay760
Lewis751
Stewart740
Moore630
Houston590
Van Buren360
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