A former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent has filed a lawsuit against the Justice Department and the FBI claiming the agencies violated his constitutional rights. The claims stem back to the termination of his position last year. The agent states the FBI terminated his position in violation of his constitutionally protected right of free speech after he made negative comments about President Donald Trump.
The FBI employed the agent for 22 years and as a veteran counterintelligence investigator. He agency fired the agent in August of 2018 after a government investigation found negative text messages about the president shared between the agent and a former FBI lawyer.
What was the right course of action?
The Office of Professional Responsibility originally recommended termination. However, shortly after the recommendation the head of the office stated the agent should be demoted and suspended for 60 days. He stated this recommendation was the right course of action if the agency took the agent’s reputation into consideration.
The day after receiving this recommendation, the agency fired the agent.
What remedies are available to this agent?
The agent is attempting to hold the Justice Department and FBI accountable for violating his First Amendment protection of free speech and Fifth Amendment right to due process when the agencies decided to move forward with wrongful termination. He first attempted to do so through an appeal before the Merit Systems Protection Board. However, the Board stated it lacked jurisdiction over this case.
As a result, the agency is moving forward with this lawsuit filed in a federal court in Washington D.C. We will provide updates on the progression of the case as they become available. If successful, the agent could receive reinstatement, back pay and other monetary awards.