WASHINGTON D.C. – Peter Strzok has filed a complaint in United States District Court for the District of Columbia. He names: Attorney General William F. Barr, in his official capacity; United States Department of Justice; FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, in his official capacity; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Strzok, in his complaint, alleges that the defendants violated the law in the following three counts: Count one – “Unlawful termination of plaintiff’s employment because of his protected speech in violation of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution; Count two – “Infringement of plaintiff’s right to due process under the law in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and Count three – “Violations of the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. §552a”.
The simple way to explain this complaint is that Strzok alleges that the texts that were released to the media were protected under free speech, that he wasn’t given a process to appeal the firing and that the text messages should not not been released to the press.
Peter Strzok states that in June of 2018, the FBI had proposed his firing “primarily due to text messages he had written in which he expressed his political opinions regarding the 2016 presidential election and then candidate, now President, Donald Trump.” This proposal was directed to Assistant Director of the FBI Office of Personal Responsibility, Candice Will. The proposal, given to Strzok, confirmed that he could appeal any disciplinary decision per “agency’s standard procedures”.
August 8, 2018 , Assistant Director Will overrode the proposal to fire Strzok, instead demoting him and suspending him without pay for sixty days. Will offered this decision in a “last chance agreement” which was accepted by Strzok.
However, August 9, 2018, Deputy Director David Bowdich fired Strzok. This decision was effective immediately, not allowing him time to appeal or any other due process. Strzok alleges in his complaint that this was “the result of unrelenting pressure from President Trump and his political allies in Congress and the media. The campaign to fire Strzok included constant tweet and other disparaging statements by the President, as well as direct appeals from the President to then-Attorney General Jefferson Sessions and FB I Director Christopher Wray to fire Strzok.”
The complaint details Peter Strzok’s career within the FBI.
“During his long and distinguished career in the FBI, Special Agent Strzok worked on (and in many cases led) some of the most high profile and sensitive investigations in recent history. He was one of the initial case agents on the FBI team that ultimately dismantled a ring of illegal Russian agents. He identified a car abandoned by several of the 9/11 terrorists in Boston. He oversaw the investigation of Edward Snowden and literally dozens of spies, including investigations into the most significant U.S. losses of classified information in the past two decades. He was assigned to lead the criminal investigation of former Secretary Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and participated in the FBI’s investigations in Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election.”
Strzok alleges that the Administration’s viewpoint was discrimination against him.
“The Trump Administration has consistently tolerated and even encouraged partisan political speech by federal employees, as long as this speech praises President Trump and attacks his political adversaries.”
“During the Trump Administration this viewpoint discrimination has infected the FBI as well. While Special Agent Strzok and others who expressed negative opinions of President Trump have been subject to administrative punishments of various degrees of severity, no action have been taken against agents who expressed harsh criticism of Secretary Clinton during the 2016 campaign, or those in the New York Field Office who leaked negative information about Secretary Clinton to the Trump campaign in the weeks before the election.”
Strzok’s complaint details the decision reached by Assistant Director Will and his due process procedures. Strzok alleges that Deputy Director Bowdich relied only on the text messages to overturn Assistant Director Will’s decision.
“Though the Office of Inspector General found no evidence that your bias impacted your investigative actions or decisions, your sustained pattern of bad judgment in the use of an FBI device called into question the decisions made during both the Clinton E-mail investigation and the initial stages of the Russia collusion investigation.”
Deputy Director Bowdich declared “his decision was ‘final’ and is ‘not subject to further administrative review.”
The Complaint by Strzok seeks to be reinstated into his position (or appropriate pay as a substitute for reinstatement), back pay to the date of his August 9, 2018 dismissal as well as some other monetary damages and attorney’s fees. (read full complaint here)
Patriot Soapbox will continue to follow this case as it works through the court process and into a jury trial.