Peter Strzok Says Anti-Trump Texts Were Protected By First Amendment
In a court filing on Monday, fired and disgraced former FBI agent Peter Strzok claimed that the anti-Trump text messages he exchanged with his lover, Lisa Page, were protected by the First Amendment. As part of his argument to be reinstated with the FBI, Strzok neglected to mention that he was sending these messages using FBI equipment, sending them to other FBI employees, and that he was doing all of this while heading up twin investigations into Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
“Firing an employee for the content of his or her non-public communications is unconstitutional, irrespective of any balancing of interests,” Strzok and his lawyers argued.
Strzok’s messages to Page became a matter of public record when they were leaked by the Department of Justice, but the disgraced agent argued to the court that they were non-public before that point. Therefore, he argued, he should not be held to a legal standard that treats public statements by government employees in a different way than other forms of speech.
Strzok argued that a dismissal of his lawsuit would “leave thousands of career federal government employees without protections from discipline over the content of their political speech.”
This argument has some superficial merit, perhaps, if one were to pretend as though Strzok’s mere typing of the messages themselves were the actual problem here. To do that, though, you would have to be ignorant of Strzok’s intense involvement in an investigation into both political candidates. You would also have to ignore the context of the messages themselves: These were not texts that simply said: “Go, Go Hillary, you’re our girl!”
These were messages that were extremely prejudicial towards the subject of a counter-terrorism investigation, and many of them alluded to the possibility that Strzok was willing to break the rules to find wrongdoing where there was none. THAT’S the problem – not Strzok’s so-called right to “political speech.”
Both Strzok and Page have embarked on a mission to garner sympathy for the plight they put themselves in. Strzok has (thus far) limited his plea for sympathy to court filings and lawsuits; Page, on the other hand, has complemented her lawsuit against the DOJ with several highly-public interviews in which she twists the meanings of common words to make it sound like the two of them were innocent flowers, just doing their jobs.
Combined, this pair is enough to make any American patriot double over in dry heaves.