Justice Department uncovers missing texts of FBI officials
Unclear what officials intend to do with five months’ worth of messages
Amid escalating attacks on America’s top law-enforcement agency for alleged bias against President Donald Trump, a trove of potentially damning evidence has conveniently reappeared.
Messages between Federal Bureau of Investigation agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have been the subject of intense scrutiny by Republican lawmakers after revelations that the two expressed concern regarding the potential election of Trump.
This week, Republican Senator Ron Johnson raised questions regarding one text between the two that cited a “secret society,” while discussing scheduling. Johnson suggested the mention related to off-site meetings between FBI agents that an unnamed source had told him about.
Adding to the fire, the Justice Department said that five months’ worth of text messages between Stzok and Page, as well as those from thousands of other department cellphones, were lost during a period that ended the day Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel in the Russia probe.
The messages have now miraculously reappeared, The Hill reports, citing a letter from the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
“The [Office of the Inspector General] has been investigating this matter, and, this week, succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices,” the letter read.
The office will provide copies of the recovered texts to the Justice Department, the letter reportedly said, after which leadership can decide how to proceed.
Reports suggested the text-message recovery process is still ongoing.