Former FBI attorney Lisa Page sued the Justice Department, 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, Politico reports. Page became a target of 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 in an extramarital affair, became two faces of Trump’s claims that the Russia probe was tainted by political bias within DOJ. The lawsuit came a day after an inspector general’s report 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 took part in.
Page alleges the DOJ violated the Privacy Act by sharing nearly 400 text messages with reporters on Dec. 12, 2017, to alleviate pressure on the department by Trump and his allies in Congress. DOJ let the media view 375 text messages, barring them from disclosing the source of the materials. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was set to testify the next morning before the House Judiciary Committee. He was expected to be grilled over a lack of response to oversight requests by Republicans who were assailing the DOJ “for failing to vigorously pursue what the members viewed as evidence of a ‘witch hunt’ against President Trump,” the lawsuit says. The suit contends that the DOJ hoped the texts would “dominate coverage of the hearing, which otherwise could be unfavorable for the department.”