Lisa Page has had enough. The former FBI employee, forced to resign due to the current President and his cult’s rampant character assassination, decided to tell her side of the story finally. Once again, another person’s life and career—ruined by Trump and his rabid base of followers. It’s a long list, and they’re adding to it all the time.
Page, a lawyer and former special counsel to then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe(he’s on the list), worked on the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign, then transitioned into looking into the possibility of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.
Eventually, Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director Jim Comey led to an investigation by the DOJ Inspector General’s Office into Page’s so-called ‘political’ text messages. The texts were then maliciously released to the public, even though the DOJ assured Page it wouldn’t happen.
The text messages that have garnered all the publicity are the ones between her and former FBI agent Peter Strzok(on the list too), with whom she had an affair. Page denies that any of the texts were overtly political, nor were they a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits most federal employees from engaging in pernicious political activities.
It hasn’t kept the right-wing media, or Trump, for that matter, from systematically calling her character into question. It wasn’t just the hit job that Trump and his friends have waged on her that’s caused so much harm. The fact that the DOJ released the texts and the FBI refused to offer up any support have also left Page feeling abandoned by the people she so diligently served for several years.
Despite all of the negative comments and destruction of her character, she’s remained silent—until now, that is. She’s given a detailed account of her side of the story in a piece by Molly Jong-Fast in the Daily Beast, which you can read here.
According to Page, it was Trump’s demeaning fake orgasm riff that he did at one of his rallies that finally pushed her over the edge. That and the fact that she had left DOJ nearly two years ago convinced her that now was the time to fight back.
Note: Yes, a sitting President of the United States did do a sort of fake orgasm riff in front of thousands of people.
That’s right; she was forced to leave DOJ. She tried to stay on but realized the atmosphere had become too toxic. Another long-time government public servant ridiculed and banished because she had the nerve to say or do something the current President determines as being disloyal to him. Or, as was the case with Ambassador Maria Yovanovitch, she was in the way of his selfish political goals. I wrote about the Ambassador here.
The President discards people at will. What happens to them afterword is of no concern for him. But the fact is, people are hurt, and lives are ruined, not to mentioned feeling threatened by the lunatic fringe of Trump supporters and sycophants. We get a real sense of how the whole thing affected Page when she was asked in the interview if it feels like a trauma:
“It is. I wouldn’t even call it PTSD because it’s not over. It’s ongoing. It’s not a historical event that is being relived. It just keeps going. I mean, he tweeted about me four days ago. When Roger Stone got convicted, he asked, why isn’t Page in jail too? Not to mention, you know, his truly reprehensible, degrading stunt at his rally, in which he used my name to simulate an orgasm. And I don’t ever know when the President’s going to attack next. And when it happens, it can still sort of upend my day. You don’t really get used to it.”
And on cue, yesterday the President went off on Page again in a tweet questioning the “insurance policy” her and her “lover” Strzok talked about in the texts.
He can’t help himself.
All the more troubling is the continued support he gets from the Republican Party and his base of supporters. The politics of personal destruction is now the official sanctioned tactic of one of the two political parties in America. When I brought up the smear campaign leveled against Ambassador Yovanovitch on Twitter, some of the MAGA crowd derided me about my “hurt feelings.” “Too bad,” they said.
So in other words, who cares? These people are not Trump loyalists, so they deserve what they get. Isn’t that what the implication is? A person’s career, physical well-being, or family all come in second. It’s either divine adherence to their great leader, or suffer the consequences. I’m sorry, these people are nuts.
I do not know Lisa Page, nor did I know anything about her until this President decided to make her famous. She didn’t want any of this. Yet now, she can’t even ride the subway without wondering if someone in a MAGA hat might be lurking somewhere.
One of the most unwritten downsides of the Trump presidency is how this will affect people in the future who may have considered public service as a career. Why in the hell would you want to subject yourself to this kind of crap? Ms. Page and others who’ve been ruined by this President thought they were doing something worthwhile. They were loyal to their employer–the federal government of the United States– and more importantly, to the Constitution.
That’s not enough for the MAGA crowd. It’s certainly not enough to the President himself. If you whisper a disparaging word or tell the truth for heaven’s sake, you’re painted forever as a deep state hack trying to take down the President of the United States in a coup de tat.
Is this America, or a banana republic? Sometimes, I wonder.
One more thing
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the upcoming DOJ IG report, due to be released next week. Multiple reports, including from The New York Times, are saying that the findings will, in effect, clear the FBI of any wrongdoing in how they conducted investigations into Trump and his campaign- including Lisa Page and her, ahem, “lover” Peter Strzok.
Of course, the report hasn’t been released yet, so we’ll see what it says. If true, this will again throw cold water on the narrative that the FBI was out to get the President. How many times have we heard him and his minions tout this report as the one that’s going show us all how badly the FBI treated him? As usual, nothing they say is credible. Nothing.
And, if Rachel Maddow was correct last night, it’s also being reported that Attorney General Bill Barr is planning a prebuttal, much like the one he did before the Mueller Report was released. He’ll purportedly pronounce his overall disagreement with the report’s findings. Of course, Barr will do that, because that’s what the President of the United States will want him to do. After all, he is the President’s attorney, right? Oh wait, that’s the soon to be indicted, Rudy Giuliani. Never mind.