The Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has told Congress that messages between two FBI agents that were presumed to be deleted because of technical issues, have been found today. The DOJ had previously said that the FBI “failed to preserve” text messages sent between FBI employees, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, between the months of December 2016 and May 2017.
Congress sought the text messages after it was revealed Strzok and Page had previously exchanged messages disparaging of President Trump and expressing hope that he would lose the 2016 election. Congressional committees were especially interested in the messages because of the roles both played in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Both Strzok and Page had previously been a part of Mueller’s team.
The Justice Department notified Congress earlier this week that “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades,” resulted in the messages not being saved correctly. But it notified Congress today that it had been investigating the matter and that this week, “succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices.”
Horowitz sent a letter to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Johnson (R-WI.) notifying them of the recovery. He said that he would provide copies of the recovered messages to the Justice Department and then DOJ leadership would decide how to share the information with the Senate committees.