Trump added more fuel to the Mueller fire when he had Peter Strzok fired instead of following proper FBI disciplinary procedures.
Pete Williams of NBC News reported:
He wasn’t fired from the FBI. He was removed from the Robert Mueller investigation last year when the text messages became public. And this really was Peter Strzok’s downfall after his 22-year career in the FBI as a counterintelligence agent. But it was disclosed that he had been texting with Lisa page from the FBI’s general counsel’s office with some anti-Trump comments. And that was further clarified when the justice department’s inspector general in a report earlier this year disclosed some additional text messages. That made Strzok the focal point for House Republicans critical of the Mueller investigation. The FBI director Chris Wray said the culture of the FBI needed to be changed. There would be a new training for people on how to avoid this sort of thing and the proper disciplinary action would be taken. Now the FBI isn’t commenting on this. Law enforcement officials have confirmed that he was fired. And the first word came from his lawyer, Aitan Goelman, who says the firing did not follow the FBI’s procedures.
That the career FBI official who is responsible for employee discipline said strzok should get a 60-day suspension and demotion from supervisory duties. But instead, he was fired. Goelman in a statement says that all of the work, the congressional work, the justice department inspector general investigation failed to produce what he calls a shred of evidence that special agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work and the lawyer says the decision to terminate was taken in response to political pressure and to punish special agent strzok for political speech protected by the First Amendment. Now the Justice Department Inspector General said that they simply couldn’t say for certain whether some of the decisions that agent strzok made during the investigation were affected by his views or not. They didn’t say they were. They just said they couldn’t say for certain they were not. In any event, he’s been fired and certainly the statement from his lawyer, at least raises the possibility that they could pursue some legal action against the FBI or the justice department for the firing.
Strzok’s firing was Trump’s latest effort to delegitimize the Mueller investigation
Peter Strzok wasn’t fired for job performance. He wasn’t fired in line with FBI disciplinary recommendations. Peter Strzok was fired because Trump and his allies are trying to delegitimize the Mueller investigation. Trump is trying to feed his false narrative that the investigation is a corrupt witch hunt by firing Strzok. The problem is that when Trump fired Strzok, he gave Mueller more evidence that the president is trying to obstruct justice and interfere with the investigation.
By not following protocol, Trump made his own situation worse and gave the Special Counsel even more reason to dig deeper into his behavior.
Trump has once again shot himself in the foot by only thinking about shortsighted PR instead of long-term consequences.
Each move that he makes to cover his tracks is another shovel of dirt on the political grave of Donald Trump.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association