Peter Strzok's attorney: FBI had the 'power, but not the right' to fire anti-Trump agent

The FBI had "the power, but not the right" to fire now-former agent Peter Strzok for his anti-President Dona...

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 12:39 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2018 12:39 PM

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.

Donald Trump

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Misc people

Peter Strzok

Political Figures - US

US Department of Justice

US federal departments and agencies

US federal government

"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.

Huntsville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 69°
Florence
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 69°
Fayetteville
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 70°
Decatur
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 68°
Scottsboro
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 73°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 19387

Reported Deaths: 676
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2341123
Jefferson1927105
Montgomery190544
Tuscaloosa85316
Marshall7149
Franklin5939
Lee56334
Shelby53619
Tallapoosa43566
Butler43121
Walker3973
Elmore38110
Chambers36326
Madison3594
Unassigned3144
Morgan3141
Baldwin2969
Dallas2963
Lowndes26912
Etowah26512
DeKalb2603
Autauga2485
Coffee2401
Sumter2369
Houston2275
Pike2231
Bullock2197
Colbert1972
Hale19210
Russell1870
Barbour1831
Marengo1796
Lauderdale1752
Calhoun1693
Cullman1631
Wilcox1587
Choctaw15310
Clarke1492
St. Clair1372
Randolph1288
Dale1250
Marion12511
Talladega1215
Pickens1215
Limestone1100
Chilton1081
Greene955
Macon944
Winston920
Jackson863
Henry842
Covington831
Crenshaw803
Escambia793
Bibb761
Washington746
Blount641
Lawrence510
Monroe492
Geneva450
Perry430
Conecuh421
Coosa401
Cherokee383
Clay282
Lamar280
Fayette160
Cleburne151

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 25664

Reported Deaths: 408
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby5669127
Davidson563869
Rutherford139829
Trousdale13944
Hamilton99219
Sumner95146
Lake8350
Bledsoe6131
Williamson59511
Robertson5425
Putnam5256
Tipton4673
Wilson4598
Knox4455
Out of TN4264
Bedford3024
Montgomery2873
Rhea2170
Hardeman2040
Bradley1742
Madison1732
Macon1713
Loudon1650
Unassigned1610
McMinn14614
Fayette1442
Cheatham1400
Dickson1210
Cumberland1202
Maury1081
Sevier1002
Blount933
Coffee810
Washington760
Monroe743
Wayne640
Gibson631
Sullivan602
Lauderdale601
Dyer590
Hickman590
Franklin541
Greene522
Unicoi490
Obion481
Hamblen442
Marion441
Anderson422
DeKalb390
Smith361
Lawrence350
Marshall341
White340
Hawkins342
Haywood342
Overton330
Grundy321
Cannon320
Henry320
Lincoln300
Jefferson290
Carroll281
Meigs270
Warren270
Weakley260
Perry240
Hardin222
Cocke210
Sequatchie200
Polk190
Carter191
Jackson190
Johnson190
Campbell181
Morgan180
Roane170
Humphreys161
Crockett163
Grainger150
Henderson150
McNairy150
Giles140
Stewart140
Scott130
Chester120
Fentress120
Claiborne120
Houston80
Clay80
Benton71
Decatur50
Moore50
Van Buren40
Union40
Lewis30
Pickett30
Hancock10

 

 

Community Events