By Vaughn Hoisington | USA
The FBI announced that all text messages from anti-Trump agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page from Dec. 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017 were lost, in a letter sent from the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
The disclosing letter from the Department of Justice states that while 384 pages of text messages between the two agents were produced, “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” for approximately five months.
Misconfiguration issues on FBI-provided Samsung 5 mobile devices were blamed for the failure to store text messages.
Both agents had been members of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel for the Trump-Russia investigation. Strzok, the deputy chief of counterintelligence, had a high-profile position in the investigation, as he oversaw the investigation.
Strzok was removed from the investigation in July 2017, after it was revealed that he had made distasteful comments about Trump to Page, who had left the council shortly before the text messages expressing bias were discovered.
In a letter from HSGAC Chair Ron Johnson to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Johnson calls the loss of these records “concerning,” since both agents “communicated frequently about the investigation.”
Johnson went on to voice his concern about discoveries found in the 384 pages of text messages that were able to be produced.
One chain of texts pertaining to Director Comey’s statement about Secretary Clinton emailing President Obama from a private server while abroad, expressed that FBI officials edited the draft, to replace “the President” with “another senior government official.” Any mention of either Obama or the edited title was later removed from the statement.
Another chain of texts implied that Attorney General Lynch knew Comey would recommend that Clinton not receive criminal charges, before announcing that she would consent to any recommendation the FBI made.
The text messages also insinuate that both agents had engaged in a discussion of FBI business over non-FBI-issued devices.