The Justice Department disclosed on Friday in a letter sent to the U.S. Senate that the FBI “failed to preserve” five months worth of text messages exchanged between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two FBI employees who made pro-Clinton and anti-Trump comments while working on both the Clinton email server and the Trump-Russia collusion investigations.
“The Department wants to bring to your attention that the FBI’s technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page,” Stephen Boyd, a Justice Department official, wrote to Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC)
Boyd claimed the failure was due to a “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.”
The texts that are missing for the period between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.
Several text messages have already been released to the public. The most infamous and notable exchange was the August 2016 “insurance policy” comment.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Strzok wrote to Page on August 15, 2016. “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
“Andy” was a reference to FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife Jill ran for the Virginia Senate as a Democrat and raised money from Bill Clinton’s best friend Terry McAuliffe.
“The loss of records from this period is concerning,” Senator Johnson wrote in a letter sent Saturday to FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Along with its disclosure of the missing text messages, Boyd handed over 384 pages of additional text messages exchanged between Strzok and Page.