President Donald Trump put the spotlight Tuesday back on two FBI officials who disparaged him in text messages prior to the presidential election and whom he’d previously accused of ‘treason.’
‘In 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!’ he tweeted.
The Justice Department last week revealed a critical gap in messages between Peter Strzok, a counterintelligence agent who worked on Hillary Clinton’s email case, and Lisa Page, an agent who worked with Strzok for a time on the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference.
Texts the pair sent each other between December 14, 2017 and May 17, 2017 are missing, the department informed Congress.
President Donald Trump put the spotlight Tuesday back on two FBI officials who disparaged him in text messages prior to the presidential election and whom he’d previously accused of ‘treason’
The Justice Department last week revealed a critical gap in messages between Peter Strzok, a counterintelligence agent who worked on Hillary Clinton’s email case, and Lisa Page, an agent who worked with Strzok for a time on the special counsel investigation into Russian election interference
Justice has blamed a glitch in its record-keeping system for the blackout.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Justice is taking all available actions to recover the missing messages, which may be stored elsewhere in the FBI’s system.
Not including the missing communications, the FBI has turned over 50,000 texts that Strzok, who was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team when the original messages were unearthed, and Page, who had already left the investigation, sent to one another.
Those messages are expected to be made public by Congress, CBS reported.
Previously published texts show Strzok suggesting the bureau invest in an ‘insurance policy’ in case Trump is elected.
‘I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration…that there’s no way he gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,’ he told Page in an August 2016 text.
Lawmakers said Monday that they were shocked by the incomplete record-keeping. The messages from the period of time that was wiped covers the end of the transition to the time that Mueller was tasked with leading a special probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy told Fox News yesterday evening that an exchange between Strzok and Page the day after the election said, ‘”Perhaps this is the first meeting of the secret society.”‘
‘So, of course I’m going to want to know: What “secret society” are you talking about?’ the Republican congressman said on ‘The Story with Martha MacCallum.’
A letter from Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd to Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson on Friday said that the Department of Justice had learned ‘that many FBI-provided Samsung 5 mobile devices did not capture or store text messages.’
The bureau told DOJ that messages were not retained ‘due to misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.’
DOJ’s explanation of how the messages disappeared had Republican lawmakers fuming.
‘Unreal. We’ve been asking for the remaining text messages between anti-Trump FBI agents (and former Mueller team members), Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The FBI now says the texts are “missing,” ‘ Rep. Mark Meadows, leader of a group of conservatives known as the House Freedom Caucus, tweeted. ‘If it wasn’t already clear we need a second special counsel, it’s abundantly clear now’.
Flabbergasted, Meadows told Fox, ‘They’re supposed to be out tracking terrorism and we can’t even find our own text messages?’
Prior to the revelation that the FBI was missing the large volume of communications, President Trump had Strzok and Page in a Wall Street Journal interview and accused them of ‘treason’ for the way they spoke about him before the election.
‘There was no collusion on our side, the collusion was on the Democrat side with the Russians. And what went on with the FBI, where a man is tweeting to his lover that if she loses, we’ll essentially go back to the—we’ll go to the insurance policy, which is—if they lose, we’ll go to phase 2, and we’ll get this guy out of office.
‘I mean, this is the FBI we’re talking about. I think that is—that is treason. See, that’s treason right there,’ he stated.
In December, after Strozk was removed from the special counsel probe because of the text messages, Trump said the FBI’s reputation was in ‘tatters’ because of mismanagement under James Comey, the former director of the bureau the president fired in May.
‘But fear not, we will bring it back to greatness,’ he pledged.