Until July 2017, Peter Strzok worked for the FBI on special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the link between Donald Trump and the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. His assignment was cut short when messages criticizing the president and his supporters were discovered, for which he was fired in 2018.
Months later, he filed a lawsuit with the Department of Justice (DOJ), alleging that he had been improperly fired, resulting in a case in which Trump himself must testify. However, it now appears that his testimony, initially scheduled for May 24, will be postponed.
The DOJ asked the judge to delay the former president’s deposition, prioritizing the testimony of FBI Director Christopher Wray because “Director Wray’s testimony could obviate the need for any deposition for former President Trump,” the agency said.
Specifically, the Department of Justice requested “that the court order that Mr. Wray’s deposition be held first and that the former President’s deposition is not authorized until the Court has the benefit of the transcript of Director Wray’s deposition.”
A federal judge ruled in February that both Trump and Wray should testify for two hours.
As reported by CNN, it was never proven that the current presidential candidate played a significant role in his dismissal. Instead, the decision went through David Bowdich, then the agency's deputy director. He made the decision despite the FBI’s employee disciplinary office recommending that he only be suspended for 60 days or demoted.
Lisa Paige also left her position because of similar events as she exchanged messages with Strzok, criticizing Trump and his supporters. Strzok officially filed his lawsuit in August 2019, asking for reinstatement and back pay.
According to him, the messages that caused his termination were protected by the First Amendment. “It’s indisputable that his termination was a result of Trump’s unrelenting retaliatory campaign of false information, attacks and direct appeals to top officials. Today, Pete Strzok is fighting back and sending a message that the Administration’s purposeful disregard for constitutional rights must not be tolerated,” Aitan Goelman, Strzok’s attorney, said at the time.