The FBI “failed to preserve” text messages between employees who made private comments critical of Donald Trump, The Daily Caller reports.
This information was provided in a letter to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC), by the Justice Department.
“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,” wrote Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Justice Department.
Messages from Dec. 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017, could not be preserved, Boyd said, citing “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.”
“The result was that data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected,” he said.
The FBI employees, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, had worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Strzok was removed from this role after it was revealed that he had criticized Trump, referring to him as an “idiot.”
In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, Johnson wrote that the loss of records is “concerning.”