The Department of Justice disclosed in a letter Friday to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the FBI “failed to preserve” roughly five months worth of text messages that were allegedly exchanged between an FBI agent who was part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe and an FBI lawyer.
As reported by The Blaze, FBI databases didn’t preserve the messages that were sent between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
“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,” assistant attorney general for legislative affairs Stephen Boyd stated in the letter.
The missing text messages were reportedly sent between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, according to The Daily Caller.
The Blaze noted that this timeframe is significant as it represents the period starting from when Trump-Russia investigation was ramping up until the very day Mueller was appointed as special counsel.
Boyd wrote in the letter that the FBI’s failure to retrieve the messages is due to “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.
“The result was that data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected,” he added.
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the HSGAC, drafted a response letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, asking why the FBI was unable to keep track of the messages during the seemingly convenient five-month period.
“The loss of records from this period is concerning,” Johnson wrote Friday.
As reported by The Western Journal in December, Strzok was removed from the Trump-Russia investigation after it was discovered he was exchanging anti-Trump text messages with Page.
In the messages that the Justice Department turned over to Congress in December, Strzok and Page both referred to President Donald Trump as an “idiot.”
“I just saw my first Bernie Sanders bumper sticker. Made me want to key the car,” Page wrote in August 2015.
“He’s an idiot like Trump. Figure they cancel each other out,” Strzok responded.
And in March 2016, Page wrote, “God trump is a loathsome human … omg he’s an idiot.”
“He’s awful,” Strzok said in agreement.
During the June 2016 Republican National Convention, Strzok and Page criticized the Trump family.
“Oooh, TURN IT ON, TURN IT ON!!! THE D—–BAGS ARE ABOUT TO COME OUT,” Strzok wrote on July 19. “You can tell by the excitable clapping.”
“Omg. You listening to npr? Apparently Melania’s speech had passages lifted from Michelle Obama’s … Unbelievable,” he added later on.
“NO WAY!” Page replied. “God, it’s just a two-bit organization. I do so hope his disorganization comes to bite him hard in November.”
Page and Strzok were reportedly engaging in an extramarital affair at the time they exchanged the messages.
On Friday, the DOJ administered 384 pages of text messages to various congressional committees.
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