The article reports:
Investigators in both House and Senate were stunned late Friday when, receiving a batch of newly-released texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they also received notice from the bureau that the FBI “failed to preserve” Strzok-Page messages from December 14, 2016 through May 17, 2017.
…A number of critical events in the Trump-Russia affair occurred between December 2016 and May 2017, including:
- Conversations between Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
- The completion and publication of the intelligence community assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
- The briefing in which FBI director James Comey told President-elect Donald Trump about the Trump dossier.
- The president’s inauguration.
- The nomination and confirmation of new Justice Department leadership.
- Flynn’s interview with the FBI (conducted by Strzok).
- Comey’s assurances to Trump that he, Trump, was not under investigation.
- A variety of revelations, mostly in the Washington Post and New York Times, about various Trump figures under investigation.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal from the Russia probe.
- The firing of top Obama Justice Department holdover Sally Yates.
- Trump’s tweet alleging he was wiretapped.
- Trump’s firing of Comey.
- And, finally, on May 17, 2017 — the final day of the missing texts — the appointment of Trump-Russia special prosecutor Robert Mueller.
Strzok and Page had a lot to talk about.
Isn’t it amazing that the texts between those two people during that time period have disappeared?
Congress does not seem to be convinced that this is simply an incredible coincidence that has nothing to do with their investigation:
On Saturday, Sen. Johnson sent a letter to FBI director Christopher Wray with a series of questions about the missing texts. Does the FBI have records of any other communications between Strzok and Page? What texts has the FBI produced to the inspector general? How extensive was the alleged glitch that allegedly resulted in the lost texts?
Johnson also asked whether the FBI has “conducted searches of Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page’s non-FBI-issued communications devices or accounts to determine whether federal records exist on those nonofficial accounts.”
That is an apparent reference to instances in the texts in which Strzok and Page told each other that they were switching to iMessage for further conversation, suggesting they might have moved their discussion of sensitive topics from their government-issued Samsung devices to private Apple devices.
Underlying all the questions is a diminished level of trust between some quarters of Congress and the FBI.
“Very suspicious,” said one investigator about the news. “Hard to believe,” said another.
When asked to rate his trust of the FBI on a scale from 1 to 10, the investigator quickly answered, “Zero.”
There are already a lot of Americans who believe that Washington is totally corrupt–on both sides of the aisle. Incidents like this further that belief. If Congress, the FBI, and the DOJ have any intention of restoring their credibility with the American people, they need to find these messages, finish their investigation, and get on with the business of government.