Strzok on Trump’s attacks on DOJ: Doing ‘what authoritarians around the world do’

Strzok on Trump’s attacks on DOJ: Doing ‘what authoritarians around the world do’

Former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok compared former President Trump’s recent attacks on the Department of Justice, in reference to the classified documents case, to that of authoritarians “around the world.”

“The problem isn’t so much that, you know, he immediately turns to try and fundraise from it, the problem is he’s doing what authoritarians around the world do,” Strzok said Sunday in an interview with MSNBC’s Alex Witt. “He is casting his opponents as these … in flowery, horrible terms, as people out not just to get him, but to kill him.”

Strzok’s comments come in response to the former president falsely claiming in a fundraising email last week that President Biden and the FBI were “locked & loaded and ready to take me out” during law enforcement’s 2022 search for classified records at his Mar-a-Lago estate.

The former president was referencing the “deadly force” policy, which in reality prohibits the use of force unless “necessary.” It is a standard policy applied to all searches, including the probe for documents at Biden’s Delaware home.

Strzok said Trump’s statements were “utterly false,” noting that he’s heard the policy statement dozens upon dozens of times throughout his career.

Following the former president’s claims, special counsel Jack Smith called on Judge Aileen Cannon, who is overseeing the case, Friday to block Trump from speaking about the case in a way that could endanger law enforcement.

Cannon indefinitely postponed the case earlier this month, punting some court dates into late July while declining to set a trial date. She pinned the delay on the need to resolve how the classified documents will be presented at trial.

Others sounded the alarm after Trump’s comments, calling the rhetoric concerning. Former FBI Director James Comey said it’s serious that the former president “is coming” for the justice institutions. Attorney General Merrick Garland also called the remarks “extremely dangerous.”

Strzok argued that Trump’s statement was dark because “if and when he returns to power, he’s normalized this image to provide a justification to go out and investigate people, to go out and round up people he’s called vermin.”

“It normalizes this idea that the other side is trying to use violence against me, and therefore, I’m justified in using violence against them,” he said. “It’s a troubling development, and it should stop.”

Strzok said he hopes Cannon, who was appointed by Trump, will respond to Smith’s filing and stop the former president’s “outrageous behavior.”

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