New Texts Out From FBI Agent Kicked Off of Mueller's Team

But FBI is missing about 5 months' worth
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 22, 2018 9:31 AM CST
In this June 21, 2017, file photo, special counsel Robert Mueller departs after a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department has turned over to Congress additional texts involving an FBI agent who was removed from Robert Mueller's team over derogatory comments about President Trump. But the DOJ also said its record of messages sent to and from the agent, Peter Strzok, was incomplete because the FBI, for technical reasons, had been unable to retrieve about five months' worth of communications, per the AP. New texts highlighted in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray by Sen. Ron Johnson, the chair of the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, are from the spring and summer of 2016 and involve the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server. The DOJ last month produced hundreds of texts Strzok had traded with FBI lawyer Lisa Page before joining the Mueller investigation, and Friday provided Johnson's panel with 384 pages of messages.

But the FBI said its system for retaining texts failed to preserve communications between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017; May 17 was the date Mueller was appointed special counsel. One message references a change in language to former FBI Director James Comey's statement closing out Clinton's email case. While a draft said Clinton and President Obama had an email exchange while Clinton was "on the territory" of a hostile adversary, the reference to Obama was changed to "senior government official" and then omitted. In another, the two gripe about then-AG Loretta Lynch's decision to defer to the FBI on the Clinton probe—days after she and former President Bill Clinton had an impromptu meeting. Strzok said the timing of Lynch's announcement "looks like hell." Page mockingly refers to Lynch's decision as a "real profile in courag(e) since she knows no charges will be brought."

(Read more Peter Strzok stories.)

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