On Thursday, finally, the FBI fired Peter Strzok. It took them long enough.
We know it was last summer — about a year ago — that the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz told chief witch hunter Robert Mueller about the wildly partisan texts Strzok exchanged with his lover, fellow FBI official Lisa Page.
We also know that Mueller removed him from the Trump Russia cover-up the next day, so at least a year ago.
Here again, just for the record, are some of the texts revealed at that time: Strzok assured Page that they were putting place an “insurance policy” in case of — or to prevent — Trump’s election. He called President Trump an “idiot” and a “disaster.”
He told Page, “Just went to a southern Virginia Walmart. I could SMELL the Trump support.”
A final Strzok text message supposedly “not indicative of bias,” written before he interviewed a single witness: “F Trump.”
Talk about hate speech.
In his report on the Clinton email investigation released June 14, 2018, Horowitz claimed to have found no direct evidence that political bias led directly to any official decision, but even so, he acknowledged that Stzrok showed a “willingness to take official action” based upon his biases.
In addition, at that time the public learned of this doozy, which the FBI likely had already discovered last summer, Page sent a message to Strzok asking, Trump is “not ever going to be president, right?”
Strzok reassured her: “No. No. He won’t. We’ll stop it.”
On June 15, 2018, Strzok was escorted out of the J. Edgar Hoover Building and “relieved of job responsibilities” this June but remained an FBI employee — maddeningly. On July 12, 2018, in Congressional testimony reacting to all this, Strzok has claimed that there was “simply no evidence of bias in my professional actions.”
He asserted, “Not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took.”
Finally, he lied under oath, saying, “I can tell you that those text messages are not indicative of bias.”
And yet at that point, taxpayers who voted for Trump were still paying the salary of the individual who launched the FBI’s investigation of the now-President of the United States and led the exoneration effort of Trump’s opposing candidate with vitriolic bias like that not only rattling around his head, but spewing out to his co-workers/co-conspirators.
Now, at last, we are relieved of that financial burden. Why? Was it simply for sending the texts listed above?
According to the Washington Post, Strzok was fired over his anti-Trump texts.
According to Strzok’s GoFundMe page (yes, the individual who explicitly plotted to use his professional position inside the federal law enforcement community to swing the outcome of a presidential race is raising money online), the firing was “apparently driven by political pressure.”
According to Strzok’s lawyer, the firing was also a decision to “punish him for speech protected by the First Amendment.” (For the record, the First Amendment does not protect you for planning a coup d’état.)
But the fact that Strzok was originally given a 60-day suspension and a demotion, and then fired at the Deputy Director level, indicates that the FBI has determined at the highest level that he did something even worse than he was originally punished for, or at least that that punishment did not fit the crime.
Or, maybe the FBI is finally admitting what Congressional Democrats for some reason won’t: That Strzok did something wrong that constitutes a termination offense. At least.
Christopher C. Hull, Ph.D., the Executive Vice President of the Center for Security Policy, served four tours on Capitol Hill, including most recently as the Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Steve King, (R-Iowa). He is the author of Grassroots Rules.