Home News DOJ Settles With Ex-FBI ‘Lovebirds’ Caught In Anti-Trump Text Scandal

DOJ Settles With Ex-FBI ‘Lovebirds’ Caught In Anti-Trump Text Scandal

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Former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have settled their yearslong case with the Justice Department (DOJ).

The former FBI agents alleged the DOJ committed privacy rights violations after the release of their text messages leveraged by former President Trump to challenge the Russia investigation during his presidency. 

According to Fox News, a tentative agreement was filed Tuesday resolving Page’s 5-year-old lawsuit against the FBI for releasing text messages with Strzok — with whom she had an affair — that disparaged the former president. Strzok’s lawsuit seeking backpay and reinstatement remains unsettled.

In 2019, Strzok argued in a court filing in Washington, D.C., federal district court that his politically charged anti-Trump messages were protected by the First Amendment even though he sent them on bureau-issued phones while playing leading roles in the probes into both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Strzok, once the FBI’s head of counterintelligence, said he was entitled to “develop a full factual record through discovery,” and that it would be premature to dismiss the case at this early stage. He went on to argue that the DOJ’s position would “leave thousands of career federal government employees without protections from discipline over the content of their political speech.”

Page also filed suit against the FBI and DOJ alleging the government’s publication of her text messages with Strzok amounted to a breach of the Federal Privacy Act.

Page’s complaint also sought reimbursement for “the cost of childcare during and transportation to multiple investigative reviews and appearances before Congress,” the “cost of paying a data-privacy service to protect her personal information” and attorney’s fees.

In a later filing, according to CNN, Strzok’s lawyers wrote that the defendants “should not be heard to complain about the notoriety and putative damage to the FBI’s reputation from Strzok’s speech when it was their own illegal disclosures, magnified and distorted by the false attacks made by the President and his allies, that placed a spotlight on Strzok’s opinions.”

The two agents were connected to the FBI’s initial counterintelligence investigation into potential Russian meddling collusion with Trump’s 2016 campaign associates and later served on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Fox News noted that in 2020, the spotlight was on the lovers’ scandal during a live performance titled “FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers” at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which was based on the anti-Trump text messages shared between the former agents. Trump has called the couple the “FBI lovebirds” during his rallies. 

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