On Tuesday, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, the man who once helped steer investigations into Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, initiated a lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of Justice over his firing.
Strzok, who was terminated in regards to now-infamous text messages in which he vowed to “stop” President Trump, claimed that his firing was unjustified and directly blamed Trump for the situation.
“The FBI fired Special Agent Strzok because of his protected political speech, in violation of his rights under the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States,” alleges the lawsuit, which seeks backpay and reinstatement for Strzok.
For those unfamiliar with the Strzok saga, the once-respected agent drew the ire of Republicans and the president, himself, after it was revealed that he vowed to prevent Trump’s election in text messages to his mistress, Lisa Page.
Lisa Page, a lawyer working with the FBI, spoke with Strzok repeatedly regarding President Trump, and the two discussed plans to thwart his election victory as they enjoyed an extramarital affair.
In fact, Strzok was later removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation team when his affair with Page, as well as their anti-Trump text messages came to light in 2017.
Now, the fired agent seeks recompense from the federal government, including his former employer, and alleges that the media’s leaks of his conversations with Page played a role in his early departure from the FBI.
Attorneys for Strzok claim that their client was fired due to “constant tweets and other disparaging statements” made by President Trump, which they allege prompted FBI and DOJ leadership to terminate his employment.
In his lawsuit, Strzok alleges to be the victim of “unrelenting pressure from President Trump and his political allies in Congress and the media,” which he and his counsel say resulted in his firing from the FBI.
Strzok directly named FBI Director Christoper Wray and US Attorney General William Barr in his lawsuit, as he continues to negate damage done to his reputation which came from his firing, as well as from a bizarre testimony before Congress.
Additionally, Strzok claims that David Bowdich, the Deputy Director of the FBI, ignored a recommendation coming from an internal investigations division of the agency to suspend and demote him, choosing instead to fire him outright.
Peter Strzok, the FBI agent who wrote derogatory text messages about Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential run, sues the FBI and the Justice Department. Strzok alleges the bureau caved to “unrelenting pressure” from the president when it fired him. https://t.co/w9LfIYnDe5
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 6, 2019
On Thursday, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was also recently fired for lying, followed in Strzok’s example and also sued the FBI and the DOJ.
McCabe, who was fired for having lied under oath, now alleges his “two decades of unblemished and non-partisan public service” were tarnished by “a politically motivated and retaliatory demotion in January 2018, and public firing in March 2018.”
The lawsuit notes McCabe’s termination came “on the very night of [his] long-planned retirement from the FBI.”
Making a thinly-veiled reference to President Trump, McCabe’s lawsuit alleges his firing amounts to “unlawful retaliation for his refusal to pledge allegiance to a single man.”
Similar to Strzok’s lawsuit, McCabe also directly blamed the president for his termination, stating “Trump purposefully and intentionally caused the unlawful actions […] that led to [his] demotion and purported termination.”
Now, McCabe alleges that the FBI failed to follow procedures regarding his firing, and claims that his pension and benefits are still valid.
BREAKING: Now Andrew McCabe is suing the FBI & Justice Dept. over his firing, asking a court to find his termination was a “legal nullity” and to let him basically retire as he had planned. Similar to Pete Strzok lawsuit on Tuesday. pic.twitter.com/9eOraHTDrj
— Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) August 8, 2019
Shockingly, Strzok’s lawsuit has landed before federal judge Amy Berman Jackson, who has curiously found herself presiding over several other related cases, including those of Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.
Judge Jackson, an Obama appointee, has drawn mounting criticism throughout the Trump administration for a series of interpretations prompting allegations of judicial activism.
A 2013 ruling by Jackson found that US employers must provide free contraceptive coverage for employees, regardless of employers’ religious beliefs which may have been opposed to such practices.
In 2017, Jackson squashed a wrongful death suit against Hillary Clinton, which was brought by members of US contractors killed in Benghazi.
Now, Judge Jackson is poised to reinstate Peter Strzok, a man who has proven his inability to conduct high-level law enforcement operations ethically, back into a position of power, putting him back into play as the quest to impeach Trump continues.
JUST IN: Peter Strzok’s lawsuit goes to … Amy Berman Jackson, judge in the Manafort and Roger Stone cases.
— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) August 7, 2019
Judge Amy Berman Jackson has had quite the docket — Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, Sam Patten, Russians charged in the DNC hack, Greg Craig, and now former FBI agent Peter Strzok’s wrongful termination lawsuit (some assignments were random, some were assigned b/c deemed related) pic.twitter.com/HkFEgbZ3By
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) August 7, 2019