Lisa Page, the former FBI lawyer who was dragged into the Russia investigation over accusations of a bias against President Trump, is suing the FBI and the Justice Department for violating her privacy.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Page alleges that the FBI and the Justice Department made “unlawful disclosure[s]” about her to the media “in violation of the Privacy Act.” Both the FBI and Justice Department are named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.
The Justice Department’s release of a trove of text messages between her and another FBI employee — Peter Strzok, with whom she was having an extramarital affair — is the basis of the complaint.
“Although the OIG (Office of the Inspector General) review was not yet complete, the officials who authorized the disclosure and their allies sought to use, and ultimately did use, the messages to promote the false narrative that Plaintiff and others at the FBI were biased against President Trump, had conspired to undermine him and otherwise had engaged in allegedly criminal acts, including treason,” the lawsuit alleges.
The suit alleges that the Justice Department released the documents to reporters in order to improve its relationship with President Trump, who at the time was incessantly attacking ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia probe. The suit mentions the inspector general report that was released Monday, which cleared Page of having a bias that impacted decisions made at the launch of the Russia probe. In the suit, Page said the DOJ IG’s decision “came too late.”
“By then, Defendants’ unlawful conduct had turned Plaintiff into a subject of frequent attacks by the President of the United States, as well as his allies and supporters,” the suit says. “In the two years since the December 12 disclosure, the President has targeted Ms. Page by name in more than 40 tweets and dozens of interviews, press conferences and statements from the White House, fueling unwanted media attention that has radically altered her day-to-day life.”
Page is seeking at least $1,000 in damages for the alleged Privacy Act violations, asking that the amount be determined at trial, and coverage of her attorneys’ fees. In a tweet on Tuesday, Page called the release of her text messages “illegal.”
I sued the Department of Justice and FBI today.
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.https://t.co/ecR58rmxlB
— Lisa Page (@NatSecLisa) December 10, 2019
A Justice Department spokesperson did not immediately return TPM’s request for comment.
Read the full lawsuit below: