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Vox Sentences: Strzok out

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Peter Strzok is struck from the FBI’s rolls; Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party confront accusations of anti-Semitism.

The FBI sends Peter Strzok on his way

Strzok Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation fired Peter Strzok, the agent who became famous for anti-Trump text messages, on Friday. [The Wall Street Journal / Del Quentin Wilber and Sadie Gurman]
  • In December, a series of texts exchanged between Strzok and Lisa Page, a former FBI lawyer, leaked to the public. The duo, who were having an affair, expressed their discontent with Trump and fears that he would be win the 2016 election, going so far as to say “we’ll stop it.” [NYT / Michael S. Schmidt, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman]
  • Strzok, who was briefly a part of Robert Mueller’s probe into interference in the 2016 election, is clearly biased against Trump. However, a report from the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, found there was no evidence Strzok’s personal views shaped his investigations. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • President Trump is certainly pleased with the FBI’s decision. Strzok was continuously the subject of Trump’s tweets since the text messages leaked. Following today’s news, Trump also expressed his content (and his discontent for both the “bad players” who remain in the FBI and the alleged illegitimacy of the Clinton investigation) in a series of tweets on Monday. [AP / Mary Clare Jalonick]
  • FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich fired Strzok despite a recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility that his punishment be less severe. Strzok was initially suspended for 60 days and moved to a position with human resources. [Vox / Andrew Prokop] Correction: An earlier version of this summary incorrectly stated that Inspector General Michael Horowitz recommended a lighter punishment for Peter Strzok. The recommendation came from the Office of Professional Responsibility, not the Office of the Inspector General.
  • Bradley P. Moss, a national security lawyer, said that the firing was legal, but “highly unusual” and “definitely not standard practice.” [Twitter / Bradley P. Moss]
  • Though Strzok has been fired, Trump’s (one-sided) fight with the FBI and Robert Mueller won’t end here. [Washington Post / Paul Waldman]
  • Friends of Strzok are asking for $150,000 on a crowdfunding site to cover his legal fees. [Axios / Khorri Atkinson]

Allegations of anti-Semitism within the Labour Party swirl across the United Kingdom

  • Reporters and constituents alike are unearthing anti-Semitism (in the form of Facebook posts, comments, speeches, and alliances with anti-Semitic figures) from years past within the United Kingdom’s Labour Party. [New Yorker / Sam Knight]
  • Many members and allies of the Labour Party have made anti-Semitic comments over the years, including a continuous comparison of the Israeli persecution of Palestinians to Nazism and the Holocaust. Labour Party members say these claims are “unfounded.” [Washington Post / William Booth]
  • Jeremy Corbyn, Labour’s leader, has been hit with accusations of anti-Semitism, too. Corbyn was seen defending an artist who had painted an obviously anti-Semitic mural, referred to anti-Semitic members of terrorist organizations Hamas and Hezbollah as “friends,” and appeared on Iranian state TV for a good chunk of money. [Vox / Zach Beauchamp]
  • Corbyn, for his part, apologized by writing a regretful op-ed for the Guardian. He promised he would “take whatever measures are necessary to guarantee the security of Jewish communities.” However, parts of the piece are very similar to an apology he made in April. [The Guardian / Jeremy Corbyn]
  • The issue of anti-Semitism was brought to the forefront of British politics when the Labour Party refused to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. The Labour Party instead wrote its own version of the definition and omitted a variety of the IHRA’s “contemporary examples of antisemitism” that some say are poorly worded and contentious. [The JC / Daniel Sugarman]
  • One in four British citizens believes that Corbyn is outright anti-Semitic. [The Independent]


  • Iconic performer Aretha Franklin has fallen “gravely ill,” according to multiple sources. Send all your positive energy to the Queen of Soul tonight. [CBS]
  • NASA launched a spacecraft designed to study the Sun’s atmosphere, known as the corona, into space on Sunday. If it successfully travels the necessary four million miles, the Parker Solar Probe will be the first human-made vehicle to enter the sun’s atmosphere. [The Verge / Loren Grush]
  • Conservative news sites like the Daily Caller and Breitbart are entering the world of White House fashion news in an attempt to appease the needs of conservative audiences that haven’t been met by mainstream outlets. [Racked / Rebecca Jennings]
  • Rapper Azealia Banks has allegedly been alone “for days” in Tesla founder Elon Musk’s house waiting for Grimes, his girlfriend, to return. [Stereogum / Peter Helman]


“If we make this a friendly departure … you can look at your time here in the White House as a year of service to the nation and then you can go on without any type of difficulty in the future relative to your reputation.” [White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, while firing Omarosa Manigault-Newman. Unbeknownst to him, he was being recorded. / TIME]

Watch this: How Juul made nicotine go viral

Juul tried to design a solution to a public health problem. It wound up creating another one. [YouTube / Christophe Haubursin]

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