The FBI has lost about five months’ worth of text messages that were exchanged between two staff members who share a common denominator: They are tied to the Russia collusion investigation of President Donald Trump — and they’re rabidly anti-Trump.
Oh, and one more tie: They were having an affair.
Wait, wait, there’s one more: They were part and parcel of the Hillary Clinton email investigation that went nowhere.
This doesn’t look bad or biased at all, now does it? (Insert sarcasm here). How convenient, as they say.
From Reuters: “Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, revealed in a Jan. 20 letter that the FBI’s technical system failed to preserve texts that were exchanged between Lisa Page, a [Department of Justice] lawyer, and Peter Strzok, an [FBI] agent, between mid-December 2016 through mid-May of 2017.”
The pair had worked on investigations into Hillary Clinton’s home-based email server — an investigation that ended up with the former FBI director, James Comey, changing his language while announcing the findings and saying her actions weren’t “grossly negligent” so much as “extremely careless.” And guess who did the actual language changing?
“Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton’s actions,” sources told CNN.
It was after that America learned Strzok and Page had exchanged anti-Trump text messages on their cellphones — texts that referred to Trump as “an idiot,” a “loathsome human,” and so forth and so on.
And key to remember: Both Strzok and Page worked for a time with special counsel Robert Mueller on Russia collusion allegations slung Team Trump’s way.
And now — a curious mysterious case of missing records.
A curious, mysterious case of missing records for the time frame of Dec. 14, 2016, through May 17, 2017. What’s special about May 17?
That’s the date the special counsel was convened. Curiouser and curiouser, as Alice might say.
Or, as Johnson put it, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray: “The loss of records from this period is concerning because it is apparent from other records that Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page communicated frequently about the investigations.”
Remember, it was just a few days ago a Republican took to national media to suggest that jail time was imminent for some tied to this scandal.
“[This is] a lie built on corruption,” Rep. Matt Gaetz said on Fox News, in reference to the special counsel investigation underway by Mueller. “[I] think that this will not end just with firings. I believe there are people who will go to jail.”
Many saw hyperbole in those remarks. Many more, after hearing of the five months of lost text messages, will no doubt see prophecy.
• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter, @ckchumley.
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