FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok, testifies before a House Judiciary Committee joint hearing on “oversight of FBI and Department of Justice actions surrounding the 2016 election” on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

 

The DOJ filed a response to Peter Strzok’s wrongful termination lawsuit which can be viewed here. The motion contains a lengthy letter dated August 8, 2018 signed by Candace Will, the Assistant Director of the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

Strzok was removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation team after his affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page and their anti-Trump text messages were discovered in the summer of 2017 and fired from the FBI in August 2018. He has since filed a lawsuit claiming that his “due process rights were infringed upon.”

His lawsuit also claimed that the DOJ set out to “humiliate him and smear his reputation when it disclosed nearly 400 text messages he had sent or received.” That, in turn, had made him the target of President Trump’s attacks. At the time the lawsuit was filed, Strzok’s lawyer claimed, “While many in law enforcement have faced attacks by this president, Pete Strzok has been a constant target for two years. It’s indisputable that his termination was a result of President Trump’s unrelenting retaliatory campaign of false information, attacks and direct appeals to top officials.”

The DOJ’s motion argues that Strzok’s “allegation that his due process rights were infringed upon would be soundly rejected due to his position on FBI’s Senior Executive Service at the time of his firing” and said he’d been “given ample notice and opportunity to be heard.”

The motion also states, “It is because of those text messages, and the paramount importance of preserving the FBI’s ability to function as a trusted, nonpartisan institution, that Plaintiff was removed from his position, and not because of any alleged disagreement with Plaintiff’s viewpoints on political issues or Tweets from the President.”

The 27 page document details Strzok’s numerous violations. The letter states that Strzok made inappropriate political comments in text messages on his FBI-issued cell phone, he utilized a personal email account to conduct FBI business and failed to diligently pursue a significant investigative lead (in the Hillary Clinton email investigation).

In addition to some of the text exchanges between he and Lisa Page we’ve heard repeatedly over the last year and a half, this filing contains many new ones. He and Page text about his wife finding out about their affair after gaining access to his cell phone. Upon discovering evidence which included hotel reservations and photos, she called Page from his cell phone and left several voicemails.

Strzok: “My wife has my phone.”

Page: “Your wife left me a VM. Am I supposed to respond? She thinks we’re having an affair. Should I call and correct her understanding? Leave this to you to address?”

Strzok: “I don’t know. I said we were close friends and nothing more. She knows I sent you flowers. I said you were having a tough week.”

Correct her understanding? It appears that Strzok’s wife understood things pretty clearly.

The document hits Strzok hard for his failure to act when he was informed in September 2016 that Hillary Clinton’s emails had been discovered on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. An agent from the New York office found hundreds of emails and blackberry messages between Clinton and Huma Abedin that “appeared to be related to the Clinton email investigation.”

Read the whole document here.