FBI top official accused former agent Peter Strzok of doing long-term damage to the bureau’s reputation. Reasons for the opinion such as a: “sustained pattern of bad judgment” and “selfishness,” were written in the newly released draft of the 2018 letter firing him.
David Bowdich was deputy director of the bureau when he penned the harsh draft of the dismissal letter. The letter brutally told Strzok that the damage he caused to the bureau would last for years. Bowdich referred specifically to Strzok’s use of “an FBI device.” This was an apparent reference to the shocking text messages sent on bureau cell phones between Strzok and his paramour, Lisa Page, in which vowed to stop former President Trump from being elected in 2016.
“While there is no doubt your 21 years of service to the organization cannot and should not be erased, it is difficult to fathom 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,” Bowdich wrote in the letter. “Though the Office of the Inspector General found no evidence of bias impacted any of your or the FBI’s investigative actions or decisions, your sustained pattern of bad judgment in the use of an FBI device has called into question for many of the decisions made during both the Clinton e-mail investigation and the initial states of the Russian Collusion investigation.”
“In short, your repeated selfishness has called into question the credibility of the entire FBI.”
Strzok's dismissal letter was published today:
"In my 23 years in the FBI, I have not seen a more impactful series of missteps that has called into question the entire organization and more thoroughly damaged the FBI’s reputation."
— Hans Mahncke (@HansMahncke) September 30, 2022
The draft letter was an attachment in a DOJ response to Strzok’s wide-ranging federal lawsuit. The lawsuit alleged a violation of his right to privacy and wrongful termination. Strzok’s attorneys deposed Bowdich and are now trying to depose Trump and FBI Director Christopher Wray in a bid to show his firing was political. The DOJ attached the draft letter to refute that the idea of Strzok’s firing was for political reasons.
Bowdich is now the vice president of global security for Disney. Strzok, despite being humiliated by the exposure of his emails, extramarital affair, and repeated bungling of investigations, has written a book and frequently appears on hard-left cable news channel MSNBC.
Strzok served as deputy assistant director of the bureau’s counterintelligence division. He led the investigation into phony Trump-Russia collusion claims and before that, the probe of Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a personal email server to send and receive classified documents.
Strzok was fired from Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s team first. Then he was fired from the bureau after the Department of Justice’s inspector general in 2017 turned up the damning emails exchanged between him and Page.
Bowdich claimed Inspector General Michael Horowitz found no evidence that political bias affected FBI investigations involving Strzok. However, he said the public perception was otherwise.
“In my 23 years in the FBI, I have not seen a more impactful series of missteps which called into question the entire organization and more thoroughly damaged the reputation of the organization,” wrote Bowdich. “In our role as FBI employees we sometimes make unpopular decisions, but the public should be able to examine our work and not have to question motives.”
The two-page letter ends with a blistering attack on the former agent’s character and failure as a public servant.
“As Deputy Assistant Director, you were expected to be a leader who was beyond reproach and set an example for not only our direct subordinates but others throughout the organization who watched and observed your behaviors and actions,” Bowdich wrote. “You failed to do so repeatedly and put your own interests above the interests of the organization. Though it pains me to do so, it is for this reason that I am dismissing you from the rolls of the FBI.”