The Department of Justice has reportedly opened an investigation to determine how exactly the FBI managed to lose five months of text messages between counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok and senior FBI attorney Lisa Page.
“The FBI informed the DOJ’s inspector general this week that the data was not retained because of ‘misconfiguration issues’ related to software upgrades on the bureau’s phone devices,” The Hill reported.
Apparently unconvinced by this excuse, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has responded by opening a formal investigation.
President Donald Trump and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders have also chimed in, expressing their disgust and outrage at this development.
“I do think there is great cause for concern. It is absolutely outrageous that this number of text messages have gone missing when we already know these two individuals were at the center of controversy from previously released text messages,” Sanders said during an appearance Tuesday on Fox News, according to The Daily Caller.
“It’s quite convenient for them, quite inconvenient for the president to have this type of problem within our top law enforcement agency.”
Very convenient indeed.
As a reminder, Strzok is a top-level FBI official who headed the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email server, and who also briefly served on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe before being removed from the post last summer.
It was learned last month that Strzok was removed from the team after Mueller became aware of disturbing text messages exchanged during the 2016 presidential election between Strzok and Page, who was also reportedly his mistress.
These text messages specifically showed Strzok and Page seemingly discussing ways to prevent then-GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump from being elected president. The two also appeared to have already been aware of the outcome of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton even before she had been interviewed.
One test message even referenced some mysterious “secret society” within the FBI that was formed after Trump won the election in 2016.
When the text messages were released to the House Judiciary Committee last month, concerns immediately started being raised by conservatives who feared that both the FBI and Mueller’s Russia probe have been corrupted.
The goal therefore quickly became to examine all of Strzok and Page’s text messages to determine once and for all whether something shady had indeed occurred. However, this goal has effectively been blocked by the sudden disappearance of some (not all) of the pair’s text messages — a fact that Sessions rightly finds unacceptable.
“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source,” Sessions announced in a statement Tuesday to Fox News.
“If we are successful, we will update the congressional committees immediately,” he added.
And if the DOJ is successful, maybe, just maybe, somebody will finally go to jail.
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