Last week, the Department of Justice handed over 384 pages of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page which had previously been “lost” through a “technical glitch” by the technology office of the FBI. Office of the Inspector General forensic specialists were able to recover these messages using specialized tools.
Republicans, who claim the messages expose bias and corruption within the FBI, have been demanding to know why there was a 5-month gap in the messages provided.
In response, the FBI claimed a software glitch had prevented the agency from collecting messages between December 14th and May 17th. The glitch allegedly affected thousands of FBI phones.
Shortly after AG Jeff Sessions promised to “leave no stone unturned” in his search for the messages, the DOJ announced it was able to recover the missing files.
“The OIG has been investigating this matter, and, this week, succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices,” reads a letter to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI).
President Trump referred to the incident as “one of the biggest stories in a long time.”
“The FBI now says it is missing five months worth of lovers Strzok-Page texts, perhaps 50,000, and all in prime time. Wow!” tweeted Trump on Tuesday.
That 5-month gap conveniently covers Trump’s inauguration, the firings of Comey and Flynn, and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to lead the Russia investigation.
Strzok and Page were both involved in the Russia investigation, but Strzok was kicked out after accusations of political bias against Trump. Page finished her role in the investigation before the accusations.
Congress has not yet had the opportunity to view the recovered messages.
Author’s Note: The fact that the messages have been found does not rule out foul play. There is still a possibility that someone tried to delete the messages (but failed).
Hopefully the investigators get to the bottom of it.
Editor’s note: This behavior within our top law enforcement agency is unfathomable.