Former FBI special agent Peter Strzok sued the Department of Justice and FBI on Tuesday over his firing in August 2018, which his lawyers argue was “the result of unrelenting pressure from President Trump and his political allies in Congress and the media.”
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In a complaint filed in D.C. District Court against Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Chris Wray, Strzok’s lawyers write that “the campaign to fire Strzok included constant tweets and other disparaging statement by the President, as well as direct appeals” by Trump to fire Strzok made to then-AG Jeff Sessions and Wray.
The lawsuit argues that the FBI and DOJ unlawfully disclosed his private text messages that disparaged Trump before and after the 2016 presidential election — including the time frame during which Strzok helped lead the agency’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and any possible contacts between Trump associates and Russian operatives.
Trump has made Strzok a frequent target, citing those disparing texts.
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,” the lawsuit said. “The FBI also deprived Strzok of his property interest in his employment without due process, in violation of his rights under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution.”
The lawsuit calls for Strzok to receive, “equitable and injunctive relief, including reinstatement and back pay … as well as actual damages for the violations of the Privacy Act.”
ABC News reached out to DOJ for a response to the lawsuit, but the department declined to comment.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.