President Trump tore into FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller over his decision to erase nearly 20,000 text messages between disgraced FBI investigator Peter Strzok and his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
“Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S [Strzok] of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone. Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!” he tweeted Saturday.
Wow, 19,000 Texts between Lisa Page and her lover, Peter S of the FBI, in charge of the Russia Hoax, were just reported as being wiped clean and gone. Such a big story that will never be covered by the Fake News. Witch Hunt!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
Earlier this week, the Department of Justice Inspector General released a report stating that thousands of text messages between Strzok and Page couldn’t be recovered because Mueller’s team wiped them from their phones before handing them over as evidence.
“SCO’s [Office of the Special Counsel] Records Officer told the OIG that as part of the office’s records retention procedure, the officer reviewed Strzok’s DOJ issued iPhone after he returned it to the SCO and determined it contained no substantive text messages,” the watchdog report reads.
New IG report suggests FBI deleted smoking gun text msgs? @JudicialWatch already on it with lawsuit to save FBI texts! How many have been deleted and lost, potentially including the texts of McCabe, Strzok, Page, & Comey? https://t.co/lnSyzyQxv5 … pic.twitter.com/rzycytffTS
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) December 14, 2018
The FBI responded to the OIG report, insisting the “gaps in collection” weren’t “intentional.”
“The FBI accepts the fact that not all texts between Ms. Page and Mr. Strozk were collected by the FBl’s text collection tool but appreciates and agrees with the OIG’s conclusion and explanation that the content of text messages exchanged between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page did not appear to be a factor in their collection, or lack thereof,” the FBI response reads.
“Further, the OIG did not find that the gaps in collection were intentional on the part of the FBI or any FBI personnel.”
Stzrok testified to Congress last summer, telling Rep. Issa (R-Calif.) that it’s a “safe assumption” he sent messages to Page from his personal phone similar in tone to the widely-publicized messages attacking Trump and his supporters.