Published: Wed, January 24, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Missing texts by FBI staffers accused of calling Trump 'idiot' under investigation

Missing texts by FBI staffers accused of calling Trump 'idiot' under investigation

Attorney General Jeff Sessions pledged Monday to get to the bottom of a question asked this week by a growing number of top Republicans: How did the FBI lose a series of messages sent during a critical time period between two bureau employees now in the crosshairs of an internal Justice Department investigation?

The FBI crucial text messages sent by its employees which could have shed light on some of the anti-Donald Trump bias within the agency, particularly over the so-called Trump-Russia investigation. But a letter accompanying that delivery revealed that the FBI's technical system for retaining text messages on bureau phones had failed to preserve communications between December 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017.

Trump's tweet contains a factual inaccuracy - as David Wright of CNN pointed out, the exact number of "missing" texts between agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page is unknown. It includes chatter of a possibly anti-President Trump "secret society" within the Federal Bureau of Investigation that met the very day after the 2016 election.

He noted during an appearance on a Milwaukee radio show that Strzok appeared to doubt Mueller's probe would uncover any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. "If they disappeared just in the normal course of business, we should know that, too". Johnson's letter noted a November 10, 2016, text from Page to Strzok that said: "Hey without thinking I replied to the email you sent me on Gmail. I hesitate in part because of my get sense and concerned there's no big there there'".

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Strzok, who was a lead counterintelligence official and was involved in the Hillary Clinton email probe, and Page criticized other candidates as well. The omission of text messages between December 2016 and May 2017, a critical gap encompassing the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, is equally concerning.

"In fact I think it is criminal to respond that way".

The FBI disclosed the missing text messages in a Friday letter sent by the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

But he overstated the number of missing texts.

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The failures by the FBI's system to store the messages were initially uncovered by the Justice Department's inspector general, who is in the midst of a broad review into whether the FBI made missteps in its handling of the Clinton investigation.

"I'm not saying that actually happened, but when folks speak in those terms, they need to come forward to explain the context with which they used those terms".

Senator Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, told Fox News Tuesday that the development is indicative of "corruption of the highest levels of the FBI".

Strzok also told Page that he wanted an "insurance policy" against Trump winning, although it wasn't clear what he meant by this.

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Republican congressman Bob Goodlatte is among those who argue there is a "magnitude of insider bias" on Mueller's team. He shared the same chief of staff as James Comey until today.

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