Ex-FBI agent regularly targeted by Trump bringing out book about president's links to Russia

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Former FBI agent Peter Strzock will publish book exploring Trump-Russia links: AP
Former FBI agent Peter Strzock will publish book exploring Trump-Russia links: AP

An ex-FBI agent whose part in the investigations into Donald Trump administration's ties to Russia angered the president, will soon claim he was compromised in a tell-all book.

In a statement to the Associated Press on Tuesday, publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media said Peter Strzok’s book would outline claims that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the 2016 presidential election.

The book – Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump – will come out less than two months before Americans vote in this year’s presidential election.

“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,” said Mr Strzok in a statement accompanying the book announcement.

“In this book 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.”

As a senior counterintelligence agent with more than 20 years at the FBI, Mr Strzok took part in the investigation into whether Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on the private email server she relied on as secretary of state. The FBI ultimately recommended against criminal charges.

He also played a role in the Russia investigation, including by interviewing former national security adviser Michael Flynn about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition period.

Mr Strzok briefly served on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team but was removed from his role after the Justice Department inspector general flagged derogatory and pejorative text messages about president Trump that Mr Strzok sent and received during the 2016 campaign.

Once the texts were made public, Mr Strzok became a regular Twitter target of the president’s attacks, with Mr Trump alleging that Mr Strzok and others in the FBI had plotted against his campaign and had even committed treason — an accusation that Mr Strzok’s lawyer rejected as “beyond reckless”.

Mr Strzok , who later insisted that he never allowed personal viewpoints to influence his work, who was fired from the FBI in August 2018.

Mr Trump has repeatedlyaccused Mr Strzok – and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was conducting a relationship – of being biased against him.

In a statement announcing the book, the publishing company said “the Trump administration used 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 Mr Mueller did not allege a criminal conspiracy between Moscow and the Trump campaign, the publisher said that in the book, Mr Strzok “grapples with a question that should concern every US citizen: When a president appears to favour 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 that describe aspects of the Trump investigation.

Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department prosecutor who served on Mueller’s team, is due out with a book in September.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press

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