Disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok is bringing even more shame down upon his own head with an ill-fated effort to cast himself as a victim.
Strzok, one of the undeniably bad actors responsible for the Russiagate witch hunt, was fired for bringing his entire agency into disrepute. Now he’s suing, claiming his firing violated the First and Fifth Amendments and asking the court to put him right back in the position he dishonored through his vindictive partisanship.
In 2016, Strzok exchanged numerous text messages with his then-mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, about their mutual hatred for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump while both of them were leading figures in the FBI investigation into Russia’s alleged hacking of the Democratic National Committee. They called President Trump “loathsome” and an “idiot,” and derided his platform as “absolute bigoted nonsense.”
The pair promised to “stop him” from becoming president, then referred to an “insurance policy” in case that didn’t work. The “insurance policy” that eventually emerged was Russiagate, even though Strzok himself admitted in one text message to Page that there was “no big there there.” (RELATED: diGenova & Toensing: Judge Napolitano Is Wrong On Both The Law And Facts)
Nine months later, Strzok and Page took high-ranking positions on the team carrying out Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s unsuccessful attempt to end the Trump presidency, only to be unceremoniously removed once the texts were discovered.
The decision to fire Strzok was obvious and uncontroversial. Even someone who merely creates the impression that political vindictiveness is the motivation for an FBI investigation of this importance has no place at the bureau.
A central thrust of Strzok’s complaint, which he also raised during his testimony before Congress, is the completely unbelievable claim that the texts in question don’t really mean what they say.
Every man, woman, and child in America who read those texts knew exactly what they meant, no interpretation necessary.
Anyone who isn’t fundamentally committed to the political destruction of Donald Trump can easily see why Strzok had no place on the massively sensitive Mueller investigation in light of the sentiments he expressed in those texts. Any FBI agent with a shred of honor would not have accepted an assignment to investigate the president of the United States if they harbored such biased views, but Stzok decided that his vendetta against President Trump was more important than the integrity of the FBI.
There was, in fact, no question that Strzok had to be removed from the Special Counsel’s Office once his text messages became known. Strzok glosses over this in his complaint, but it was former FBI Deputy Director Andy McCabe — himself a Never Trump member of the “#resistance” — who made the call to give Strzok his walking papers.
Now, Strzok and his lawyers are trying to convince us that Strzok was actually the victim, not the perpetrator, of political bias.
In the end that’s all smoke and mirrors. Strzok’s fanciful legal case is based on the idea that President Trump violated Strzok’s First Amendment and due process rights by expressing his opinions about Strzok on Twitter.
The claim will fail. Although career federal employees — unlike the millions of conservatives in the private-sector whose jobs are at risk because of liberal intolerance — generally can’t be fired for expressing their personal political opinions, that freedom does not confer the right to investigate a president and his family in pursuit of a political objective. (RELATED: diGenova: Jim Comey — America’s Dirtiest Cop — Is At It Again)
Strzok clearly knew it was inappropriate for him to participate in such an investigation after using government property to make clear that he hates Donald Trump and would do anything possible to thwart him, especially since — in the version of this story most favorable to Robert Mueller — he concealed that fact from the special counsel.
Americans know the score here. If an FBI agent had called a random person a “loathsome human” and promised to “stop” him, that should obviously disqualify that agent from being involved in any investigation in which that person was a suspect. If the agent were fired for trying to conceal that personal hostility in order to get himself on the investigation anyway, no one would shed a tear.
But politics changes everything, and that’s what Strzok is counting on. As much as Strzok’s lawsuit is an effort to get his job back, or at least secure a nice cash settlement, it’s also an effort to send a signal to his future liberal employers or potential purchasers of his inevitable book that he’ll never stop “#resisting” Donald Trump.
The American people won’t fall for it, though, and neither will the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
Joseph diGenova served as the United States attorney for the District of Columbia from 1983 to 1988 and as an independent counsel. He is a founding partner of Washington, D.C. law firm diGenova & Toensing, LLP.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.