The ongoing tension between the Trump team and the FBI and other established Justice Department interests hosted a substantial new development this week. Former FBI official Lisa Page has now sued the Trump appointee-led Justice Department over their disclosures to reporters of hundreds of her private text messages that she exchanged with then-fellow FBI agent Peter Strzok. The Justice Department made those purposeful leaks before even members of Congress had a chance to review the material, which they’d been set to do. The president’s supporters have long run the modus operandi of only barely metaphorically incinerating just about every basic legal precedent possible, and now, they’re facing some consequences.
‘Page’s suit in federal court in Washington, D.C. says that text messages she exchanged with Peter Strzok were released by the Justice Department to reporters in December 2017 to promote a “false narrative” that she, Strzok and others at the FBI “had conspired to undermine” Trump illegally.’
Just this week, the inspector general’s office overseeing the Justice Department released a report confirming a key portion of Page’s account. In short, it was a completely false narrative that any political bias had affected any of the trajectory of any of the Russia investigation, which Page (and Strzok) had key roles in at times. That investigation was founded on ample evidence implicating the president in Russian plotting to undermine U.S. democracy during the 2016 elections — although Trump, his prominent shill and Attorney General Bill Barr, and others are still running with the line that the inspector general’s report was simply wrong anyway, and Republican commentators already got plenty of mileage out of Page’s occasionally anti-Trump texts.
To be clear, the inspector general’s office looked through more than one million documents. More than one million! And they found no evidence to support the claims that Trump and his supporters have been making and even still continue to peddle.
In Page’s lawsuit, she asserts that the Justice Department released her text messages in a ploy to gain favor with the president, who had been criticizing then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions for supposedly failing to intervene appropriately strenuously enough to keep the Russia investigation from ever proceeding in the first place. In other words, Trump was mad that Sessions wouldn’t commit obstruction of justice for him.
‘[Page] claims the texts were released in violation of the federal Privacy Act without her consent “to elevate” the Justice Department’s standing with Trump “following the President’s repeated public attacks of the Department and its head,” then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.’
Until recently, Page had not responded publicly to repeated attacks from Trump and his Republican allies. In an interview with the Daily Beast, she explained that one of the incidents that pushed her over the edge, so to speak, was Trump’s public imitation of sex in mockery of an affair that she had with Strzok.
She explained what she’s been going through since getting pushed into the spotlight:
‘The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening… when the President accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he’s still somebody in a position to actually do something about that. To try to further destroy my life. It never goes away or stops, even when he’s not publicly attacking me.’
Now, the Russia investigation’s prominence has given way to the Ukraine quid pro quo plot that is driving the impeachment proceedings, but overall, the corruption still continues…