Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page Tuesday is suing the Justice Department and FBI, saying the release of nearly 400 text messages between her and paramour Peter Strzok was illegal.
Ms. Page said text messages she exchanged with Mr. Strzok, a married FBI agent with whom she was having an affair, were released by the Justice Department in December 2017 to promote a false narrative that the lovebirds illegally “conspired to undermine” President Trump.
According to the lawsuit, the release was “to promote the false narrative that [Ms. Page] and others at the FBI were biased against President Trump, had conspired to undermine him and had otherwise engaged in allegedly criminal acts, including treason.”
She said the Justice Department released the texts without her consent in violation of the federal Privacy Act. Ms. Page also claims the disclosure was motivated by the Justice Department’s desire to elevate his standing with Mr. Trump.
The text messages were released at a time following the president’s “repeated public attacks of the department and its head,” former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Mr. Trump repeatedly publicly bashed the ex-attorney general over his recusal from the Russia probe. That lead to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, whose investigation of Mr. Trump has dominated his presidency.
Ms. Page announced the lawsuit Tuesday on Twitter.
“I sued the Department of Justice and FBI today,” she wrote. “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.”
The lawsuit came one day after the Justice Department inspector general concluded she did not play a role in the FBI opening a probe into the Trump campaign in 2016.
Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed the animosity aimed at him by Ms. Page and Mr. Strozk lead to the FBI’s Russia investigation. The pair assailed the president in his texts.
In one of the texts, Ms. Page asks her lover that Mr. Trump is “not every going to become president, right? Right?”
Mr. Strzok responds, “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
Those texts have made Ms. Page a frequent target of the president, who has derisively referred to her as “lovely” and mocked her affair with Mr. Strzok at a campaign rally.
The lawsuit says Mr. Trump has mentioned Ms. Page by name in more than 40 tweets, dozens of interviews, press conferences and statements from the White House.
The “unwanted media attention has radically altered her day-to-day life,” she said in the suit.
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