Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, likened the revelation that the FBI “failed to preserve” five months’ worth of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to the IRS scandal.
Jordan tweeted on Sunday, “First the IRS destroyed emails pivotal to our investigation of their political targeting.”
“Now the FBI ‘failed to preserve’ texts between Peter Strzok & Lisa Page following the ’16 election,” he continued. “The time for a second special counsel is now.”
Jordan’s tweet linked to a story from The Daily Caller which reported that Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, received a letter from the Department of Justice Friday explaining that text messages between Strzok and Page from Dec. 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017, were not available.
“The Department wants to bring to your attention that the FBI’s technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page,” wrote Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Justice Department.
“The result was that data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected,” Boyd explained.
The date May 17, 2017, may be significant because that is when former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to head the Russia investigation.
Both Strzok and Page worked on the Russia probe during the time frame in question (Dec. 2016 to May 2017) and may have potentially exchanged messages about Trump or the investigation.
Strzok was removed by Mueller in the summer of 2017 after the Department of Justice’s inspector general discovered texts between the FBI agent and his mistress FBI attorney Page, showing a strong anti-Trump bias. In one of the texts, Strzok wrote of an “insurance policy” in case Trump won the presidency.
Page, an DOJ attorney, completed her work on the Russia probe in the summer of 2017 prior to Strzok’s removal.
Along with the disclosure that months of Strzok and Page’s texts were missing, Boyd handed over 384 pages of additional text messages between the two exchanged during the 2016 campaign.
In one text dated July 1, 2016, the FBI officials indicated they knew former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would not be charged with a crime, despite former FBI director James Comey stating the next week at a news conference only he knew the decision, Fox News reported.
Regarding the infamous meeting at the Phoenix airport in late June 2016 between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Strzok texted, “Timing looks like hell.”
“Yeah, that is awful timing,” Page replied. In a later message, she added, “It’s a real profile in couragw (sic), since she knows no charges will be brought.”
Following news breaking of the meeting, Lynch recused herself from the Clinton investigation, putting it in Comey’s hands to make the call whether to prosecute.
The FBI interviewed Clinton regarding her use of a private, unsecured email server on July 2, 2016, with Strzok among those present. Comey announced four days later despite the former secretary of state’s “extremely careless” handling of classified information, no charges would be brought.
The DOJ also decided not to prosecute former IRS official Lois Lerner in relation to her targeting of conservative groups in the lead up to the 2012 presidential election.
As reported by The Western Journal, Former IRS Commissioner John Koskinen testified before Congress in 2015 that Lerner’s emails during the time period in question had been inadvertently destroyed. Thousands of her emails were later recovered by the Treasury Department’s inspector general.
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