The FBI has failed to record five months’ worth of text messages between two FBI agents that expressed anti-Donald Trump views, the Bureau said last week. The FBI made the disclosure in a letter from the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC).
“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, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs at the Justice Department, wrote
Peter Strzok and Lisa Page are two FBI employees who had been working on Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. The two exchanged text messages that expressed anti-Trump views. In one message, Strzok tells page, Trump is “an idiot.” In another Page tells Strzok Trump is a “loathsome human.” In yet another, Strzok writes that Hillary Clinton should win the election 100 million votes to zero. Page responds, “I know.”
The failure to record the text messages was attributed to technical issues. “Misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades…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,” Boyd wrote.