Lisa Page sues DOJ and FBI over release of her text messages

Source: Politico | December 10, 2019 | Caitlin Oprysko

The former FBI attorney says the agencies violated her right to privacy.

Former FBI attorney Lisa Page on Tuesday sued the Justice Department and FBI, accusing her former employers of violating her right to privacy by illegally leaking a cache of text messages she sent with a fellow FBI official.

Page became a target of frequent attacks by President Donald Trump and his supporters after the disclosure of anti-Trump texts she exchanged with former FBI agent Peter Strzok. Both Page and Strzok, who were engaging in an extramarital affair, got nicknames like “dirty cops” and the “lovers” from the president and became two faces of Trump’s claims that the Russia probe was tainted by political bias within DOJ.

The lawsuit comes a day after the release of a second report from the department’s independent watchdog that found neither person’s political opinions played a role in the Russia probe or in the high-profile investigation into Hillary Clinton’s personal email server, which Page and Strzok both participated in.

In the 23-page lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia nearly two years to the day after the disclosure in question, Page alleges DOJ and FBI violated the Privacy Act by sharing nearly 400 text messages with reporters on the night of Dec. 12, 2017, to alleviate pressure on the department by Trump and his allies in Congress.

That night, the department summoned reporters to its D.C. headquarters after hours and let the media view a tranche of 375 text messages, barring them from making copies or removing the messages and from disclosing the source of the materials.

In a tweet announcing the lawsuit, Page expressed dismay over having to sue her former employers. “I take little joy in having done so, but what they did in leaking my messages to the press was not only wrong, it was illegal,” she wrote.

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