More texts turned over from Federal Bureau of Investigation agent taken off Mueller team

Frederick Owens
January 23, 2018

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Ron Johnson, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, revealed that he was notified by the Justice Department that the FBI "failed to preserve" five months of text messages between Strzok and Page - from December 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017.

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".

The Department of Justice (DOJ) made the disclosure in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last Friday.

With the report this week that the FBI admitted it "failed to preserve" thousands of texts exchanged between anti-Trump FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were members of Mueller's team, the president's legal team could have the basis to file for a motion to dismiss, citing prosecutorial misconduct.

"The result was that data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected", he said. In the writings Mr. Strzok alludes to "weight" to complete the Clinton examination after Trump got the assignment. However, Strzok was reassigned from Mueller's team following the discovery of the texts and Page only worked on the probe for 45 days, ending last July.

"MYE" stands for "midyear exam" and was the FBI case name for the Clinton email investigation.

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May 17, 2017, was the day that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as head of the investigation into whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government or elements linked to it. Many focused on their observations of the 2016 election and included discussions in often colorful language of their personal feelings about Trump, Clinton and other public figures.

Johnson is now asking the Federal Bureau of Investigation to follow up with more details about the lost records and about whether it has conducted searches of non-government issued devices.

"I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way [Trump] gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk", Strzok wrote to Page on August 15, 2016.

Days after the fact, on July 5, Comey declared the FBI's suggestion that no criminal accusations were justified. "And Page appears to mockingly refer to Lynch's decision to accept the FBI's conclusion in the case as a 'real profile in courag (e) since she knows no charges will be brought'".

Lynch made that announcement after TV news cameras filmed her having a private conversation with former President Bill Clinton at a Phoenix airport.

According to Johnson, Strzok and Page discussed speeding up the investigation into Clinton once it became clear that Trump would be the Republican presidential nominee.

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