Politics & Policy

Ex-FBI Agent Strzok to Publish Book about Trump, Russia ahead of November Election

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok is seated prior to testifying before House Committees in Washington, D.C., July, 2018. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Peter Strzok, the former FBI counterintelligence agent who was fired by the agency for sending anti-Trump text messages during the 2016 campaign, is releasing a book detailing his lingering concerns that the president could be compromised.

The book, “Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump,” due out two months before the November election, will offer an insider account of the investigation into whether the 2016 Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to influence the presidential election, the Associated Press reported.

“Russia has long regarded the United States as its ‘Main Enemy,’ and I spent decades trying to protect our country from their efforts to weaken and undermine us,” Strzok said Tuesday in a statement accompanying the book announcement.

“In this book,” he added, “I use that background to explain how the elevation by President Trump and his collaborators of Trump’s own personal interests over the interests of the country allowed Putin to succeed beyond Stalin’s wildest dreams, and how the national security implications of Putin’s triumph will persist through our next election and beyond.”

In more than 20 years at the FBI, Strzok worked on a number of high-profile investigations, including into whether then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on the private email server she relied on as secretary of state. 

Stzok worked on the Russia investigation, interviewing former national security adviser Michael Flynn about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition period. He also briefly served on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team before being removed for derogatory and pejorative text messages about Trump sent and received during the 2016 campaign. 

The text messages exchanged with FBI lawyer Lisa Page led the president to accuse Strzok and others in the FBI of plotting against his campaign and committing treason. For his part, in a July 2018 congressional hearing Strzok insisted that he never allowed his personal viewpoints to influence his work.

Strzok was fired from the FBI a month later, a move that, in a statement announcing the book,  publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media said was the result of the Trump administration using “his private expression of political opinions to force him out.” 

“But by that time,” the statement added, “Strzok had seen more than enough to convince him that the commander in chief had fallen under the sway of America’s adversary in the Kremlin.”

Though the Russia investigation, which lasted for nearly two years, did not find a criminal conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign, the publisher said that in the book, Strzok “grapples with a question that should concern every U.S. citizen: When a president appears to favor personal and Russian interests over those of our nation, has he become a national security threat?”

Former FBI director James Comey and former deputy director Andrew McCabe have each released books on the Trump investigation, while former Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann is due out with a book in September.

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