Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) defended former FBI agent Peter Strzok by saying he should have rather been suspended for 60 days and demoted instead rather than being fired.
Cicilline stated, “I think everyone should be concerned that this president continues to try to influence an ongoing criminal and counterintelligence investigation. He’s been attempting to undermine the individuals leading the investigation, the conclusions that they’ve reached. But the — Peter Strzok just is the most recent example. Now, let’s remember, FBI agents are allowed to have personal opinions, but they’re required to set aside those personal opinions and make judgments based on the law and the evidence. That was not only the testimony of Peter Strzok, it was the conclusion of the inspector general, who did a very lengthy investigation, lots of interviews, a thorough examination of documents. And he concluded that there was no evidence that Peter Strzok’s personal opinions in any way affected his judgment in this investigation. And as a consequence, when it was referred to for disciplinary action, the Office of Professional Responsibility said that he ought to be suspended for 60 days and demoted. That was rejected. Very unusual to reject the conclusions of the Office of Professional Responsibility, and he was fired. I think we all have to be concerned that the president’s effort is being successful in an attempt to interfere with an ongoing investigation.”
“Peter Strzok, I think, is being treated unfairly. He acknowledged that he shouldn’t have sent tweets, but they didn’t affect his judgment. They didn’t affect any decision. That was also the conclusion of the inspector general. They should have followed the regular recommendation, 60-day suspension and demotion. I think we all have to be concerned, why, in fact, was he fired? We need to have some oversight hearings to make a determination as to whether there was any political influence in that decision.”