When I asked Ian Prior, a Justice Department spokesman, about the due process rights of Strzok and Page, he said: “The Department ensures that its release of information from the Department to members of Congress or to the media is consistent with law, including the Privacy Act.” He went on to say that the information the Department provided to Congress in response to requests for the information was not subject “withholding exceptions,” that lawyers for Congress and relevant parties were informed of this beforehand and that “career officials determined that the text messages could be released under both ethical and legal standards.”
If that is the case, then the Justice Department is in need of reform. Let’s start with an obvious point. Publication of someone’s private texts — even if they are conducted on government phones — is an astonishing breach of privacy. How many of us say or write things intended for one person that we would not say in a public forum? Also consider how a snippet of one’s conversation in private can be taken out of context to misconstrue its meaning.