(Oct. 3) The FBI’s 2018 draft letter of dismissal to disgraced agent Peter Strzok is a model for how the bureau should deal with its own agents gone bad. Alas, the FBI appears to let too many of its bad apples go unpunished.

Strzok was the high-ranking agent in the FBI counterintelligence division who helped screw up the investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email servers and into Russian interference on behalf of then-candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential campaign. Regarding the former, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility charged him with “dereliction of supervisory responsibility” for failing to investigate potentially classified Clinton emails that were shared on an unsecured laptop. He also played a large role in pushing the most anti-Trump — and least true — allegations in the Russia investigation.

And he did so all while his private messages showed that he and fellow agent Lisa Page, with whom he was having an extramarital affair, expressed a determination to stop Trump from being elected, even as they began what should have been a neutral review of the evidence. The Justice Department also accused Strzok of “security violations.”

FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich’s Aug. 8 draft letter firing Strzok minced no words. “It is difficult to fathom,” Bowdich wrote, “the repeated, sustained errors of judgment you made while serving as the lead agent in two of the most high profile investigations in the country.”

And: “Your sustained pattern of bad judgment in the use of an FBI device has called into question for many the decisions made during both the Clinton e-mail investigation and the initial states of the Russian Collusion investigation. … It [is] difficult to imagine another incident like yours which brought so much discredit to the organization.” The damage to the bureau, he wrote, “will take years to overcome.”

Amazingly, Strzok is suing the FBI for wrongful termination. His suit is absurd…. [The full column is here.]


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