Demoted FBI agent Peter Strzok. Image via YouTube.
By Debra Heine
Increasingly skeptical members of Congress now suspect that a cover-up of epic proportions is unfolding before their eyes.
According to a source who communicated with Fox News, the FBI must now prove that the loss of five crucial months of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page was not a result of FBI wrongdoing. The source was described by Fox News as a member of the congressional committee investigating the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
“The FBI must show now that the missing texts are not obstruction of congressional oversight or destruction of evidence,” the source reportedly stated.
Senate and House investigators also reportedly have a number of questions for Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who has also been investigating the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
According to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York, first and foremost, investigators want to know if Horowitz or anyone else has the missing texts. “Congressional investigators will also be asking: ‘Does the FBI’s explanation make sense? Is there evidence to support it? Were other Samsung phones not recorded as a result of technical problems between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017?'”
So far, the FBI isn’t commenting:
Even if the FBI’s story checks out, investigators in the House and Senate want to know if there is a way to find the missing texts, the Examiner reports:
Who would have the power to do so? Horowitz’s investigation is an administrative review, not a criminal probe, and does not have the authority to compel production of some information.
Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Chairman Ron Johnson fired off a letter with further questions to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Saturday:
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.
Here is the Washington Examiner‘s recap of critical events in the Trump-Russia affair that took place between December 2016 and May 2017:
It simply strains credulity that the FBI could accidentally lose thousands of texts between two key FBI officials during this crucial period. It’s not surprising that the trust between many members of Congress and the FBI is all but gone.
“Very suspicious,” one investigator commented. “Hard to believe,” said another.
The Examiner asked an investigator to rate his trust of the FBI on a scale from 1 to 10. He quickly answered: “Zero.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) compared the FBI’s supposed technical glitch to the disappearance of former IRS official Lois Lerner’s missing emails: