This last Friday, FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich overruled the FBI’s internal organization responsible for disciplining employees and fired embattled FBI agent Peter Strzok. The overruling of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility is considered remarkable and rare – it’s only seldom done – and the direct involvement of such a high official in the matter speaks to the level of infamy in which the Peter Strzok saga has reached in American society.

While it was painfully clear that Strzok should, under no circumstance, be in charge of any kind of investigation requiring impartiality and objectivity, or, for that member, continue to be a paid member of the FBI after the latest bombshells dropped inside the DOJ Insepctor General’s June report, what’s less clear is why the deputy director of the Bureau had to step in to make the decision. Why was the FBI’s “Office of Professional Responsibility” going to continue to go easy on Peter Strzok after his enormous bias and potentially criminal mishandling of the Clinton Email investigation were known to all in black and white?

Liberal-leaning NPR lays out the case against Peter Strzok and co. pretty well: Laughing stock and former FBI Director James Comey personally took responsibility for the email case when it should have been left to subordinate investigators, Loretta Lynch may have attempted to make the Hillary probe go away, and Peter Strzok and his alleged (no evidence or romantic text messages released so far) lover former FBI attorney Lisa Page were vehemently anti-Trump, with one famous text message from Peter Strzok saying “we’ll stop it,” referring to Trump becoming president. This kind of language between officials of the agency that’s supposed to be in charge of enforcing the law equally against everyone who comes to their attention raises serious questions and doubts about their morality and their ability to remain critical and neutral.

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For this character flaw alone, Peter Strzok should have never made it to the top ranks of the FBI, including deputy director of the FBI’s counter-terrorism department, the lead investigator of the Hillary Clinton Email disaster, and a key player of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team (he was dismissed within months of joining the team). The fact that Peter Strzok not only earned these promotions, but kept them, raises even more doubts about every case he’s ever worked on, including how the cases against those people were built (was the evidence legal?) and what kind of influence Strzok’s biases had on their outcomes and the fate of those they concerned. Firing special agent Strzok was the right thing to do – it just took far too long to do it.

What does Peter Strzok’s firing say about the Mueller investigation?

Peter Strzok should serve as a poignant warning to all government officials, especially law enforcement officials: You are not above consequences and discipline, nor the law, no matter how high you’ve made it on the governmental gravy train’s ladder. This incident is deeply concerning to all people who worry about the integrity of the US government, its direction and motives, and especially its methods. Specifically, this incident severely shakes the already nearly non-existent foundation that the Mueller probe was founded on.

There are some troubling questions that remain unanswered: How was Peter Strzok able to be so biased for so long? How many other people share his views and perhaps illegal approach to law enforcement? What will the FBI do to restore its image in the public eye? Certainly, firing this crooked super agent was a good first step.

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