Even a disgraced former FBI agent should know when he has no case.
But Peter Strzok, the one-time head of counterintelligence for the bureau, argued in a court filing Monday that the Justice Department violated his First Amendment right to free speech when he was fired last year for text messages he sent in 2016 to his then-lover, FBI attorney Lisa Page.
As most Americans remember, those texts explicitly insulted the Donald Trump presidential campaign as well as Trump supporters — at the same time that Strzok was investigating allegations that Trump was getting direct Russian help to win the election.
But speaking Tuesday on “Fox & Friends,” former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy took just two minutes to eviscerate Strzok’s argument, which was filed as part of a lawsuit that demands Strzok get his job back
It was, McCarthy said, a “no-brainer.”
McCarthy was particularly hard on Strzok’s claim that the Justice Department had violated Strzok’s rights to free speech when it released the legendary Strzok-Page texts. The couple used FBI-provided phones for much of their communication.
“You don’t have a right, as a government employee, to use government facilities to do non-government work of any kind,” McCarthy said.
“And if you’re an investigator and you are investigating political corruption cases, you obviously don’t have a right to talk politics, much less politics that connects to the people that you’re investigating on your government-issued communication devices. That’s like a no-brainer.”
Check out the interview here:
McCarthy also made short work of Strzok’s claim that if the Justice Department were allowed to discipline Strzok — who was fired after more than 20 years with the FBI — then it would put “thousands” of federal employees in danger of losing their jobs for political reasons.
When Strzok used his FBI-issued phone, McCarthy said, he already lost the argument.
“You just don’t use your government facilities in order to do non-government business of any kind,” he said.
“Government officials whose jobs are closely connected with politics know that they can’t do politics, fundraise, talk politics on their government-issued communications devices and they have to use their own time and they have to use private facilities to do it, and it works for everyone.”
He said the specifics of the Strzok case make the argument even weaker.
“Strzok is particularly ill-suited to be raising this claim on behalf of anyone because unlike most agents, he was a top-level FBI official who was doing public corruption cases and his political chatter affected and undermined the investigation he was doing, so that puts him in a very different category.”
And all of that, McCarthy said, is likely to doom Strzok’s chances of recovering his job or his benefits on the basis of an argument as weak as this one.
“He’s going to strike out, I think,” McCarthy said.
Considering this is an agent who once vowed to “stop” Trump from ever becoming president — and used his FBI phone to do it — Strzok’s argument that he’s the one who was wronged in the proceedings is a sketchy one, at best.
And some social media users weren’t buying it at all.
He knows it’s a bogus law suit, he’s simply trying to change public perception.
They’re too out of touch to understand too many are awake now.
Andrew McCarthy on Peter Strzok accusing government of violating his rights: ‘He will not succeed in lawsuit’ https://t.co/LLRoQimSlJ
— Addrian ?? ⭐⭐⭐ (@AddrianStorm) December 31, 2019
HE was involved in SPYING on the President and his campaign, but complains HIS texts should’ve been private.? #MAGA2020
Andrew McCarthy on Peter Strzok accusing government of violating his rights: ‘He will not succeed in lawsuit’https://t.co/Lu5nEoAUFO
— Rose Ricr (@ricr_rose) December 31, 2019
Whatever his merits and faults may be (honesty doesn’t seem to be a high priority), Strzok is clearly not a stupid man. No one gets to be the head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division by not being very bright.
And that’s one reason this argument is so suspect.
Even in disgrace, a veteran FBI agent should know when there is no case.
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