FBI’s Embattled Ex-Agent Lisa Page Sues Under Privacy Act

WASHINGTON (CN) – Lisa Page, the ex-FBI agent long vilified by the White House to advance its discredited theory of a liberal plot to prevent Donald Trump’s election, brought a federal complaint Tuesday that accuses her former employer and the Department of Justice of privacy violations.

FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok talks to an aide as he waits for the start of a joint House hearing in 2018 on “Oversight of FBI and DOJ Actions Surrounding the 2016 Election.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Page filed her lawsuit one day after the Justice Department’s inspector general debunked claims that politics had motivated the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

The Justice Department had tried to bolster that theory by releasing the texts and emails of senior FBI investigators – including those between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok – who had panned Trump when he was still the Republican contender.

“DOJ and/or FBI officials disclosed the messages to reporters for multiple improper reasons, including to elevate DOJ’s standing with the President following the President’s repeated public attacks of the Department and its head, Attorney General Jefferson B. Sessions III,” Page’s 23-page complaint states. “They did so by summoning DOJ beat reporters to the Department to review the messages at night, prohibiting the reporters from copying or removing the set of messages from the building, and instructing them not to reveal DOJ as the source. This clandestine approach is inconsistent with the disclosure of agency records for transparency purposes or to advance the public interest.”

The inspector general’s report on Monday found that Page and Strzok’s emails, which revealed their extramarital affair and their shared disdain for Trump, did not compromise either the origins or integrity of the investigation, code name Crossfire Hurricane.

Page says the vindication 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 complaint states. “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 wants a federal judge to award her damages for violations of the Privacy Act.

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