Peter Strzok, the ex-FBI agent who launched the bureau’s Russia probe in 2016 and was fired two years later for sending strongly anti-Trump text messages amid the probe, alleged in a new court filing Monday that the FBI and Justice Department violated his rights to free speech and privacy.
The document was filed in response to the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss Strzok’s wrongful termination lawsuit, which Strzok filed in August, Politico reported.
The filing raised questions about the ability of rank-and-file government employees to share personal political opinions on matters of public interest — including on government-issued devices, as Strzok and his one-time lover, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, did about Trump, according to the report.
The Justice Department argued that Strzok’s role in high-profile FBI investigations “imposed on him a higher burden of caution with respect to his speech.”
…Strzok made headlines — and along with Page became favorite Trump Twitter targets — when it was revealed that he wrote to Page on their FBI email accounts calling Trump an “idiot” and discussing an “insurance policy” in the event he was elected, among other things.
…Page also filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department alleging a Privacy Act violation over the release of the texts.