It is being reported that the Justice Department deleted text messages between former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI attorney Lisa Page before the Inspector General was able to review them.
Strzok and Page were transparent in their correspondence—which was released to the public—that they would do whatever it took to stop Trump from winning the presidency.
Both Strzok and Page were involved with the investigation into Hillary Clinton—who ultimately walked without facing jail time or even paying a fine—and with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.
As the Federalist reports, in the 11-page report, the Office of the Inspector General claimed the texts were never seen by Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz as he looked into whether Strzok or Page abused their respective offices to act on their evident bias.
From the report:
The 11-page report reveals that almost a month after Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team, his government-issued iPhone was wiped clean and restored to factory settings by another individual working in Mueller’s office. The special counsel’s Record’s Officer told investigators that “she determined it did not contain records that needed to be retained.”
“She noted in her records log about Strzok’s phone: ‘No substantive texts, notes or reminders,’” the report states.
When the OIG obtained his old cell phone in January, it had been issued to another individual within the agency and investigators were unable to recover any text messages sent or received by Strozk on that device.
Two weeks after Page departed Mueller’s team on July 15, 2017, her government-issued iPhone was also wiped and restored to factory settings and had not been reissued to another person within the agency. No one within the special counsel’s office or the Justice Management Divisions of the agency had any records as to who cleared all the data from the iPhone.
President Trump replied to the stunning report: “Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone. Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!”
The 19,000 number seemed to come from the number of texts that were recovered, as the Federalist reports: “The OIG was able to recover more than 19,000 texts between Strozk and Page on their old government-issued Samsung Galaxy S5 devices that had been lost due to the agency’s ‘collection tool failure.’”
The report did not specify how many texts were actually deleted, although Breitbart reports the number of deleted texts were in the “thousands.”
The Office of the Special Counsel deleted text messages from the iPhone of fired FBI agent Peter Strzok before turning it over to the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General (OIG), according to a report released by the federal watchdog.
On Thursday, the Justice Department’s inspector general released a report stating thousands of text messages exchanged between Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page could not be recovered after Mueller’s team wiped clean the phones it had issued them.
Here’s even more from former Secret Service agent Dan Bongino:
On January 12, 2017, the Inspector General announced it would review “whether the Department and the FBI followed policies or procedures in connection with, or in actions leading up to or related to, the FBI Director’s public announcement on July 5, 2016, and the Director’s letters to Congress on October 28 and November 6, 2016, and whether certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations.”
The Inspector General initiated the investigation into Page and Strzok’s phones after being notified of a “gap in text message data collection” between December 16, 2015 and May 17, 2017.
Strzok and Page (who were both part of the initial group of employees assigned to the Special Counsel’s Office) rose to infamy after text messages between the two revealed they despised Donald Trump and were rooting for Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 election. They also discussed a “media leak strategy” and a suspicious “insurance policy” in case Trump got elected.
As the Conservative Review reports, several people online are asking whether the deletion constitutes obstruction of justice.