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'I Just Fight Back': Trump Celebrates Firing of Peter Strzok, FBI Agent at Center of Unhinged Conspiracy Theories

The ousted FBI agent's lawyer argued that the decision to terminate Strzok was made "in response to political pressure" and "should be deeply troubling to all Americans"

Aitan Goelman, Strzok's lawyer, said in a statement on Monday that the FBI's decision to fire his client "should be deeply disturbing to all Americans." (Photo: AP)

In a move that was characterized as a significant and possibly politically motivated departure from typical agency protocol, the FBI has fired agent Peter Strzok over the anti-Trump text messages he sent during the 2016 presidential election.

President Donald Trump was quick to celebrate Strzok's termination in a series of tweets on Monday, claiming that the ousted FBI agent was "in charge" of the Russia probe despite the fact that he was dismissed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigative team last year.

According to the Washington Post—which first reported Strzok's ouster on Monday—the 22-year agency veteran's firing was ordered on Friday by FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich, despite the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility's conclusion that Strzok "should face only a demotion and 60-day suspension" over his politically-charged text messages.

Aitan Goelman, Strzok's lawyer, said in a statement on Monday that the FBI's decision to fire his client "should be deeply troubling to all Americans."

"A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok's personal views ever affected his work... leading to only one conclusion—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, not on a fair and independent examination of the facts."

Strzok has long been at the center of right-wing conspiracies alleging that the FBI is engaged in a "witch hunt" against Trump. As Common Dreams reported, Strzok appeared before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees last month and argued that his political opinions have not affected his work at the FBI and said he has done nothing that would merit termination.

"Like many people, I had and expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election," Strzok declared in his opening remarks before the committees. "Many contained expressions of concern for the security of our country—opinions that were not always expressed in terms I am proud of... But let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath: not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took."

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