In a new court filing, Mr. Strzok accused the Justice Department of violating his constitutional rights to privacy and free speech when it fired him over a slew of anti-President Trump text messages exchanged with his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
The former G-Man made the claim in response to the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit he filed in August seeking to reclaim his old job.
He had been a top FBI counterespionage official and a played a leading role in the bureau’s investigations into both Mr. Trump’s Russia ties and Hillary Clinton’s secret email server while she was secretary of state in the Obama administration.
The new filing in a Washington federal court called it “terrifying” that the Justice Department would fire an employee for his private speech.
“Firing an employee for the content of his or her nonpublic communications is unconstitutional, irrespective of any balancing interests, including damage to reputation and other factors,” Mr. Strzok’s attorneys wrote.
But attorneys for Mr. Strzok countered that would subject government workers to punishment for expressing their opinions “in private water cooler conversations.”
“The government’s argument would leave thousands of career federal government employees without protections from discipline over the content of their political speech,” he wrote.
The discovery of the texts led to the removal of Mr. Strzok in 2017 from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team that was investigating allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia to affect the presidential race.
Mr. Strzok told Congress last year that when he said, “we’ll stop it,” he was referring to voters.
The president has fired back at the two FBI officials, repeatedly mocking them during campaign rallies and in tweets. He called Mr. Strozk “a sick loser,” “a fraud,” “incompetent” and “corrupt.”
Ms. Page has filed a similar lawsuit against the Justice Department, saying it violated her rights by releasing the texts to reporters.
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