McCarthy made the statement on “Fox & Friends” one day after Strzok filed the lawsuit in Washington, D.C., federal district court arguing that his politically charged anti-Trump messages were protected by the First Amendment — even though he sent them from bureau-issued phones while playing leading roles in the probes into both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
McCarthy, a Fox News contributor, said Strzok, who is suing the government in a bid for reinstatement, is “simply wrong.”
STRZOK CLAIMS ANTI-TRUMP TEXTS PROTECTED BY 1ST AMENDMENT, ADMINISTRATION VIOLATED HIS RIGHTS
He noted that the court filing is an attempt for Strzok to get his benefits for “being an FBI agent for such a long time restored.”
Because it was the Justice Department that leaked his anti-Trump text messages, Strzok argued in the filing that his texts should be considered private speech, and he should not be held to the tougher legal standard under the 1968 Supreme Court case Pickering v. Board of Education that applies to public statements by government employees.
Strzok’s filing was a response to the DOJ’s no-holds-barred motion to dismiss his lawsuit for reinstatement in November. The Justice Department told the court that Strzok had admitted to conducting FBI business on his personal iMessage account and assured them that the materials were secure — even though his wife accessed his phone and determined he was having an affair with Lisa Page, then an FBI lawyer also involved in the Clinton and Russia probes.
FBI TEXTING SCANDAL EXPLAINED
Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump texts with Page came to light. He was fired from the FBI last August.
“You don’t have a right, as a government employee, to use government facilities to do nongovernment work of any kind,” McCarthy said on Tuesday. “And if you’re an investigator and you are investigating political corruption cases, you obviously don’t have a right to talk politics, much less politics that connects to the people that you’re investigating on your government-issued communication devices. That’s like a no-brainer.”
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He added, “Strzok is particularly ill-suited to be raising this claim on behalf of anyone because unlike most agents, he was a top level FBI official who was doing public corruption cases and his political chatter affected and undermined the investigation he was doing so that puts him in a very different category.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re contributed to this report.