On Monday, the FBI fired agent Peter Strzokwho was removed from the special counsel’s Russia investigation last year after it was discovered he sent inflammatory text messages against President Donald Trump.

Strzok’s lawyer Aitan Goelman told CNN that FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich demanded Strozk’s dismissal on Friday.

“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,” Goelman said in a statement, in which he reportedly said Strzok should have faced a demotion and suspension instead of being fired.

Strzok shared his attorney’s statement in a tweet in which he said: “It has been an honor to serve my country and work with the fine men and women of the FBI.” The agent also added a link to a GoFundMe account designed to help him with legal expenses and lost income.

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Strzok, 48, was one of the key FBI figures involved in the probe into Hillary Clinton‘s private email server during the 2016 election. The FBI ultimately decided not to prosecute the former first lady and secretary of state. The agent was also one of the many individuals tasked with overseeing the inquiry into Russian interference in the election, and his role in both investigations has led Trump and many other Republicans to accuse the bureau of being biased against the president.


Last month, Strzok testified before Congress about text messages he exchanged with another FBI agent named Lisa Page — who was also his lover — before the 2016 election. When Page asked Strzok what the bureau or the country could do should Trump win the presidency, Strzok reportedly answered “we’ll stop it.” This was one of multiple anti-Trump texts Strzok sent. Strzok’s House hearing — which came just days before Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin met in Helsinki, Finland, and before Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence agents for meddling in the 2016 election — ultimately devolved into an intense partisan skirmish.

Early Tuesday morning, Trump took to Twitter to lash out at Strzok, the FBI, Mueller and the Justice Department, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump has repeatedly slammed Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe in March 2017. The president called Strzok a fraud and again dismissed the Russia investigation as a “rigged witch hunt:”


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