U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have written to the DoJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz requesting the text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.
This is important, in their forward on the government website, after stating they were not preserved by the FBI [this despite being ordered to preserve them], they write:
In a previous letter to Sens Johnson and Grassley, IG Michael Horowitz stated his office obtained text messages from Nov. 30, 2016, through July 28, 2017 without disclosing the missing texts. The Senators’ letter is asking the DOJ Inspector General (1) to explain why he did not previously disclose FBI’s failure to provide the missing texts, and (2) to inform the committees about the steps the IG is taking to investigate the circumstances surrounding the missing texts.
This committee is investigating the Hillary Clinton emails and the FBI’s handling of the case.
This is the most relevant passage and it suggests the FBI is obstructing the congressional committee’s investigation:
On December 6, 2017, we wrote to you concerning the DOJ OIG [Office of Inspector General] discovery of text messages between FBI employees Lisa Page and Peter Strzok. Your response, dated December 13, 2017, suggested that DOJ OIG received all text messages between Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok from November 30, 2016 to July 28, 2017. You wrote:
In gathering evidence for the OIG’s ongoing 2016 election review, we requested, consistent with standard practice, that the FBI produce text messages from the FBI-issued phones of certain FBI employees involved in the Clinton email investigation based on search terms we provided. After finding a number of politically-oriented text messages between Page and Strzok, the OIG sought from the FBI all text messages between Strzok and Page from their FBI-issued phones through November 30, 2016, which covered the entire period of the Clinton e-mail server investigation. The FBI produced these text messages on July 20, 2017. Following our review of those text messages, the OIG expanded our request to the FBI to include all text messages between Strzok and Page from November 30, 2016, through the date of the document request, which was July 28, 2017. The OIG received these additional messages on August 10, 2017.
On December 13, 2017, the OIG informed the committee that they had requested the texts, received them, and later expanded their request:
The FBI produced these text messages on July 20, 2017. Following our review of those text messages, the OIG expanded our request to the FBI to include all text messages between Strzok and Page from November 30, 2016, through the date of the document request, which was July 28, 2017. The OIG received these additional messages on August 10, 2017.
In the letter, they state that the FBI recently informed their committee the Samsung 5 phones failed to preserve the messages [despite being ordered to preserve them]. They then contacted the OIG’s office and were told:
During a phone call on January 22, 2018, DOJ OIG staff indicated that the FBI did not produce text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page from December 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017.
They want to reconcile the discrepancies and also find out if the text messages have been produced elsewhere, such as from the carrier. There are a number of questions asked in their letter.
We certainly need to know why the OIG IG said they requested the texts, appeared to have them, but now say they don’t. Poor attention to detail or something more sinister?
On January 3, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray went to speak with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to ask they not be required to turn over Russia-Trump dossier investigation documents to House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes.
Speaker Ryan backed the committee and told them to release the documents which they have been hiding, refusing to even comply with a subpoena.
They appear to have since given the documents to Nunes which could be the basis for his now-famous 4-page Memo.
That takes us to the FBI and the missing texts, along with their lame excuse for not preserving the documents. Have they simply adopted another approach?