Russia investigation

Former FBI agent Peter Strzok sues Justice Department for wrongful firing

Peter Strzok
Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok.Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and the FBI for violating his First Amendment rights by firing him after discovering 2016 texts in which he "expressed his political opinions" about then-candidate Donald Trump.

Why it matters: Strzok led the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and later worked for special counsel Robert Mueller, before being transferred and later terminated after the discovery of thousands of personal text messages exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page. Strzok has been the target of attacks from conservatives and Trump allies who believe the Russia probe was politically motivated and part of a conspiracy to undermine the Trump presidency.

Trump to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as DNI

John Ratcliffe
Rep. John Ratcliffe questions former special counsel Robert Mueller as Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Twitter Sunday that he will nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, confirming Axios' earlier reporting that Ratcliffe was favored for the job. Coats will leave office on August 15.

Behind the scenes: Trump was thrilled by Ratcliffe's admonishment of former special counsel Robert Mueller in last week's House Judiciary Committee hearing. "The special counsel's job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump's innocence or that the special counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him," Ratcliffe, a former prosecutor, said to Mueller.