16:23 GMT +327 May 2019
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    Deputy Assistant FBI Director Peter Strzok testifies on FBI and Department of Justice actions during the 2016 Presidential election during a House Joint committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, July 12, 2018.

    FBI Fires Special Agent Peter Strzok

    © AFP 2019 / SAUL LOEB
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The FBI fired Special Agent Peter Strzok, who worked on both the investigations into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Trump wrote on his Twitter on Monday.

    The Washington Post reported Strzok's lawyer said FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich fired his client on Friday even though the office at the FBI that handles discipline decided Strzok should just face demotion and a 60-day sentence for sending anti-Trump texts.

    READ MORE: US Dropped Mutual Assurances of Non-Meddling from Helsinki Declaration — Reports

    The report added that Strzok's firing happened despite assurances that he would be dealt with under normal disciplinary processes.

    Commenting on the situation, the former agent's lawyer Aitan Goelman said the FBI caved to political pressure in firing Strzok despite the US constitution protecting his right to free speech.

    "The [FBI] decision to terminate was taken in response to political pressure, and to punish Special Agent Strzok for political speech protected by the First Amendment, not a fair and independent examination of the facts," the lawyer said.

    The decision, Goelman added, was troubling because a lengthy investigation and congressional testimony failed to produce any evidence that his client’s personal views affected his work.

    The US Justice Department Inspector General in a report in June said comments Strzok made in text messages about preventing then-presidential candidate Donald Trump from getting elected were antithetical to the Justice Department’s core values.

    However, the report concluded that there is no evidence the political views of Strzok impacting the handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private server and email for official business during her tenure as secretary of state between 2009 and 2013.

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok from the Russia investigation after discovering the text messages.

    READ MORE: Trump on FBI's 'Stellar Reputation': Agency Hurt by 'Clowns and Losers'

    The Special Counsel is investigating allegations that Russia meddled in the 2016 US election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign. Russia has dismissed claims that it interfered with the vote and both Trump and the Kremlin have denied accusations of collusion.


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