A GoFundMe account for embattled former FBI agent Peter Strzok that launched shortly after his termination was publicized raised nearly $41,000 in five hours.
The account was started by an anonymous organizer, listed only as “Friends of Special Agent Peter Strzok,” with a stated goal of raising $150,000. The costs will go towards Strzok’s legal fees and supplementing his lost income since he is currently unemployed.
Strzok’s attorney, Aitan Goelman, said in a statement Monday that the Deputy Director of the FBI had fired his client last Friday, overruling the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility that had recommended Strzok receive a 60-ay suspension and a demotion. David Bowdich is currently Deputy Director of the FBI.
“The decision to fire Special Agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical Bureau practice, but also contradicts Director Wray’s testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters,” said Goelman.
Strzok, a two decade veteran of the FBI, had overseen Hillary Clinton’s email server investigation as well as the beginning of the investigation into Russian meddling in the election. But he was reassigned to the Human Resources Department after Michael Horowitz, the inspector general in the Department of Justice discovered texts he had sent to another FBI agent, Lisa Page – with whom he was having an extramarital affair – that contained anti-Trump sentiments. Although Horowitz concluded the text messages displayed bias, he does not conclude that bias affected any of the investigations.
“This decision should be deeply troubling to all Americans,” Goelman said. “A lengthy investigation and multiple rounds of Congressional testimony failed to produce a shred of evidence that Special Agent Strzok’s personal views ever affected his work.”
But the news of Strzok’s termination was met with glee by President Trump, who claimed in a tweet, without evidence, that the investigation Strzok oversaw into Clinton’s e-mail server was a “total fraud on the American public and should be properly redone.”
“Based on the fact that Strzok was in charge of the Witch Hunt, will it be dropped? It is a total Hoax. No Collusion, No Obstruction – I just fight back!” Trump wrote in another tweet.
The organizers of the account did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The website of the account argues that the money is necessary beceause Strzok has been victimized by conservatives, and that the FBI fired him because they were ceding to political pressure. “Unlike those who typically become the focus of partisan investigations in Washington, Pete is not politically connected, he’s not a wealthy lobbyist and he’s not interested in using his notoriety for personal gain,” the website states.
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