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DOJ Official: Missing Text Messages Between FBI Agents Located

DOJ Official: Missing Text Messages Between FBI Agents Located

They “lost” five months worth of texts.

Fox News has reported that the DOJ inspector general has announced that they have located the missing text messages:

Text messages from a critical five-month period between Trump-bashing FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who both served on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, have been located, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz has told Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.

*This is a breaking story. MORE TO COME.

Fox News continued:

In a letter sent to congressional committees, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said his office “succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices, including text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page that were sent or received between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017.”

“Our effort to recover any additional text messages is ongoing,” Horowitz said. “We will provide copies of the text messages that we recover from these devices to the Department so that the Department’s leadership can take any management action it deems appropriate.”

The missing messages have been at the center of a storm of controversy on Capitol Hill, after the DOJ notified congressional committees that there is a gap in records between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017. Strzok and Page are under scrutiny after it was revealed that the former members of Robert Mueller’s team exchanged a series of anti-Trump texts during the presidential campaign.

The gap in records covered a crucial period, raising suspicion among GOP lawmakers about how those messages disappeared.

More than 50,000 texts were exchanged between Strzok and Page, Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed Monday. Sessions had pledged to figure out how some of their texts went missing.

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Comments

Yeh. Also urns out the whole “secret society” deal was just another chance for people to run around with their hair on fire.

Some people really seem to enjoy that…

    Bucky Barkingham in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Hair on fire is why they need the “urns”.

    G. de La Hoya in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm

    Do you suppose Poobah Mueller wears the urn on his head? 😉

    The “secret society” is only a way to protect the integrity of the FBI and the DOJ. It implies that only a handful of people knew anything about this. However, this occurred in organizations composed of very competent, seasoned investigators. It is virtually impossible for no one else in the organization to have known about these activities. The “secret society” is merely preliminary conditioning to allow people to accept a few scapegoats, while everyone else with knowledge or suspicions of this activity can use the Sergeant Schultz defense and claim that they knew nothing. The problems within the FBI and DOJ are systemic, not simply small aberrant groups acting without the knowledge of the rest of the organization.

      Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | January 25, 2018 at 2:10 pm

      Read the text.

      It was a joke. Jeeebus….

        G. de La Hoya in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2018 at 2:52 pm

        I barely have enough time to go through all of my own texts so I will let the Professor weed out the 50,000 😉

          Ragspierre in reply to G. de La Hoya. | January 25, 2018 at 3:04 pm

          The “secret society” text…

          “Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society,” FBI lawyer Lisa Page wrote to senior FBI agent Peter Strzok, who was working on the FBI’s probe of Russian meddling in the presidential election and would later join Page for a brief period on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

          That text stands alone in the series of messages obtained by ABC News – with no apparent tie to other messages sent before or after it.
          ——————-
          That’s it. The horror…

      alaskabob in reply to Mac45. | January 25, 2018 at 2:45 pm

      They obviously didn’t think that their texts would be retrievable. Sloppy. Maybe not too sloppy with a little “help” from their friends.

    G. de La Hoya in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    My dentist says that Page has some pretty healthy gums 🙂

    “Secret society” is admitted overkill, but I can easily see an agency filled with such partisan political creatures having a “Day after the election” decision to meet at a local pub that evening for some serious thinking and strategizing. After all, they went from Washington Business As Usual to Trump in one day, and that’s quite a shock to the average alligator.

      If ANY off the record “meeting” took place to de-legitimize the lawful election of the President, it constitutes a conspiracy.

      That this “meeting” was called by high officials in our country’s top law enforcement agency, there is an indication of a conscious effort by those officials to stage a coup.

        murkyv in reply to bear. | January 25, 2018 at 8:29 pm

        I distinctly remember from media reports that there was a meeting the day after the election, somewhere in NY state I believe, of top Democrat fundraisers and movers-and-shakers.

        and then nothing more in the news about it.

        Can we at least consider the possibility that there “could” have been some of those present or on conference call from the Obama administration

    So we should ignore the mention of a “secret society” because it’s obvious (to you) that they MUST have merely been joking between two never-Trumper apparatchiks?

    The FBI has a well-documented history of tainted and partisan “investigations” dating all the way back to it’s original Director – who is still revered enuf to have the HQ building bear his name. The DOJ itself just had it’s prosecution of the nut job rancher thrown out when the judge discovered they hid evidence that the defendants weren’t actually imagining that the govt used Gestapo tactics and emplaced snipers long before there was any reasonable reason to do so. And don’t get me even started on the kleptomaniacs they have working at the airports who miss 19 out of 20 fake bombs but have no problem finding loose money and iPods to pocket.

    The fact is – the govt is no more incorruptible than any other institution.

    If “secret society” and “plan B” we’re merely jokes – they were in exceptionally bad taste. May I suggest the next time you are boarding for a flight you humorously joke by speaking bad Arabic and calling other passengers infidels? Then you can examine the situational humor while sitting in a confinement room waiting for your interview. Alternately, send the WH or your congressmen hilarious threatening letters with humorous talcum powder enclosed – don’t forget to write your return address on the envelope so they know where to to send the appreciative “thank you” letter for lightening up their workday with your sense of humor.

    What is humorous is the idea that 50,000 other texts between these two clowns from arguably the most important time period go missing and we are expected to believe that they are “lost” so there’s nothing to see here, keep on moving. Even if you grant that this oh-so-convenient technical glitch actually was a glitch, forensic techs will tell you that it’s bad faith to just assume that they are not recoverable before you even try.

      Ragspierre in reply to BobM. | January 25, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      erm…bob…

      they’re recovered or being recovered.

      Now, you can have all the tin-foil you want, and I sure can’t stop you.

      But, yeh. It was a joke.

        maxmillion in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2018 at 7:42 pm

        Here comes raghead, right on tool cue.

        Yes, rags, I know that they are (or are being) recovered according to the most recent news/leaks/announcements.

        Which doesn’t address my actual point – Congress asks for the texts, FBI says “oops, sorry, we lost them” – NOT “oops, been technical glitch, will take a couple days to fix”.

        The second response shows willingness to comply, the first doesn’t.

        If non-“I’m with H” folks seem (to you) a tad paranoid about yet another convenient loss or destruction of emails and text that are BY LAW required to be kept archived – why are you surprised?

        It’s not in any factual sort of dispute that under the last administration laws concerning archiving of such were both carelessly and deliberately ignored – and that no significant legal consequences ensued.

        Even worse, in my opinion, we were deliberately and with malice a forethought repeatedly lied to about the circumstances of the archiving, the losses and the contents lost. Again with no significant legal consequences.

        We were told the Sec. Of State was unfamiliar with the tech due to “only having one device”. Lie.
        We were told the SoS was ignorant of the legal requirements she flouted. Either also a lie, or revealing a lack of mental capacity which should have disqualified her from any non-fast-food career, let alone high govt office.
        We were told the SoS during her entire time in office never used her non-sanctioned eMail setup for any classified communications, despite it being the only one she used in her job. Lie. And a lie that so incredibly insulting to the intelligence of anyone expected to believe it as to defy belief.

        Rags, did YOU believe the the SoS, a person who routinely deals with classified information every hour of every day, would NEVER in years of her official communications with her subordinates and ambassadors and intel contacts mention or refer to classified facts or reports?

        And if so, if your dentist has to extract a tooth do you ask him for it so you can take it home and place it under your pillow to make some money?

I think a lot of us thought or observed when the missing SMS messages story broke that looking for them on the individual phones may not be the best place to find them. People routinely lose, upgrade, break, replace, factory reset and various other forms of violence to their phones and the data lying thereon. I don’t know to what extent the government maintains a data store or that the carriers do so. I don’t know if they carry more than meta-data, which I am sure they do keep.

However, assuming a requirement in law or policy that such records be kept, there must be a means to keep it, and that means is most certainly not the individual phones, due to their unreliability as a safe hold of information. I have always assumed that the IG referred to a gap in record-keeping within some government database rather than the phones. On that basis, I have also considered it suspect that five months of data could be “uncollected” without someone in the process noticing.

My company does data storage of critical data, sometimes regulatory, sometimes contractual and sometimes in response to litigation or subpoena. It is not our business, but it is something we have to do to do business. For the stuff we keep because it’s nice to have, we have “keepers” of the data whose job it is to ensure the data is flowing. For the stuff that is legally required by contract or statue or court, we have a very disciplined, methodical approach replete with redundancy and safeguards to avoid any loss of data. For government work, depending on the agency, we often take it to a level higher, introducing additional safeguards.

Considering how the painfully serious the government is about enforcing data security and compliance on third-party vendors such as my company, it is inconceivable to me that they might be as haphazard and devil-may-care about their own data retention as this story has suggested. My own experience in the USAF in the 80’s reinforces this. I eagerly await this all being sorted.

I’m sure the rediscovered text messages will be provided in boxes, hardcopy. After the two agents in question have been allowed to review them for relevancy to the investigation.

After all, that’s how Clinton turned over her State Department emails. It should be good enough for the FBI, no?

G. de La Hoya | January 25, 2018 at 1:29 pm

I was going to joke about maybe the Russians could help us find them but I recall the collusion outrage when another joked. So, I won’t. 🙂

Uh-huh.

Somebody tried to cover them up, then realized they might not get away with something so obvious.

Or just normal SNAFU for a bureau which is too big for competent control.

Miserable optics either way.

    tom_swift in reply to tom_swift. | January 25, 2018 at 2:10 pm

    Or maybe somebody took a few days to determine which messages really had to be “lost”, then “found” the more innocuous ones … and hopes that nobody will notice which ones are missing, lost in that blizzard of 50,000.

    Which doesn’t make the optics any better. Though it may make the plot harder to detect.

The OIG’s letter says text messages have been recovered, but it does not say all text messages have been recovered. I wonder how many have been been recovered.

Bucky Barkingham | January 25, 2018 at 1:39 pm

Suppose instead of 50,000 text messages the DOJ only turns over 49,500 messages? How did anyone determine that “50,000” messages were “missing”? Seems like a suspiciously round number.

    At the rate these rabbits were texting, gaps might be obvious. Especially when you consider that entire topical threads might be deleted, you could end up with dead hours between them.

The statement is ambiguous. They “recovered text messages”. It doesn’t say how many or what percentage of messages were recovered. For all we know they recovered all of two additional text messages.

Someone said 50K text messages. If each took ten seconds, that 208 weeks, or four years of man hours. And you can’t divide them between the two, because if one wasn’t writing them, they were reading them. How.is.that.possible? Did they even have time to get naked during their affair? Did Mrs. FBI Assistant Director not notice that her husband’s eyes were rolled up in the back of his head while she was spoon feeding him to keep him from dying of text-induced malnutrition? Did the SAICOTWC’s not notice that Strzok and Page were sitting in their respective seats, eyes glazed and bodies twitching spastically?

    5under3 in reply to Immolate. | January 25, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    50,000 texts by 10 seconds per text is 500,000 seconds. 500,000 seconds divided by 60 seconds per minute equals 8,333 minutes.
    8,333 minutes divided by 60 minutes per hour equals 139 hours.

    tom_swift in reply to Immolate. | January 26, 2018 at 3:10 am

    If they each sent one message per hour, every hour for a full working day, it would take over twelve years to send 50k messages.

    Each one sending a message every five minutes throughout the working day would still take them over a year to send a total of 50k.

    Well, it’s probably a good thing that there seems to have been no danger of either having time to do any productive work.

    ufo destroyers in reply to Immolate. | January 26, 2018 at 1:13 pm

    Some years ago at a different job, I got a complaint letter saying that one of our employees was incessantly calling her during work hours. We had computerized logs of long distance calls from our land line numbers that showed when and how long the calls were. We used these logs to determine that for the several months this affair had been going on our employee had been on the phone for up to four hours a day to her phone. This evidence was used to dock his pay for several thousand dollars not to mention the long distance costs. And ultimately brought about his firing when he wanted to make a stink about it with the big boss. This many texts have to take more than a few seconds to compose, send, read, comprehend, compose, type, send, etc….. A nice big check written back to the Treasury should be in order from these two at the very least. The fact their reputation should be forever tainted is just icing on the cake. But it won’t be tainted in the Resist-verse which is where they will work next.

    Another way to look at it: Take the 50,000 texts and divide by the number of days in the time period. You get about 323 texts PER DAY including Saturday and Sunday.

    I don’t think middle school girls text that much …

Here is the skinny on this situation.

IG Horowitz requests copies of the text messages between Strzok and page, the period to include 12/14/16 – 05/17/17. He, apparently, does not receive any texts from that time period. When the House Intelligence Committee asks the FBI for these texts, they are informed that because of a system glitch, they were not captured or stored and are not available. When Sen. Grassley and Johnson present specific questions to the DOJ concerning the circumstances surrounding the “lost” text messages and knowledgeable people publicly state that these “lost” texts should be readily recoverable suddenly, hey are being recovered, through the IG’s office. We will have to see how many can be “recovered”, before we will know the value of these “lost” texts. But, the premier white collar and computer crime investigatory LE in the US ends up with egg on its face, again.

However, this just adds another facet to this investigation. That is exactly how were these texts “lost” to begin with.

    Simplifying it: they’re acting like criminals act when criminals are caught.

    Like burglars when cops turn on the lights.

    Scary they arent mere burglars, instead of co-conspirators in an historic scale, seeking a coup.

      YellowSnake in reply to TheFineReport.com. | January 25, 2018 at 5:27 pm

      If you want to base your assessment on how people act, Trump would be sitting in some prison right now based on his actions. I am talking about his behavior as president. He did dictate junior’s bogus statement.

      Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children”

      Any truth in that?

      If we looked at Trump’s whole life, he would need to be ‘tied to the whipping post.’

        G. de La Hoya in reply to YellowSnake. | January 25, 2018 at 6:49 pm

        Ask Obama, I’m sure he has knowledge of many private conversations 🙂

        neanderthal in reply to YellowSnake. | January 25, 2018 at 9:49 pm

        Yes.

        Russia would of course frame it as just a “discussion of adoption,” but it was really about the Magnitsky sanctions, a set of wide-ranging sanctions that included banning of some officials from traveling between the two countries and of some trade. Russia, in response, banned US citizens from adopting Russian children.

        So yes, when Russia wanted to discuss lifting those sanctions, they would almost certainly have framed it as the innocent-sounding issue of adoption of Russian children. It’s entirely possible that the people in the meeting didn’t even realize the Russians were leading up to discussing the Magnitsky sanctions, because the Russians would hardly have lead with that.

        So this report is not just possibly true, but quite likely true.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | January 25, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    “That is exactly how were these texts “lost” to begin with.”

    According to reports, via a Samsung glitch that hit 10% of the FBI phones.

    This is easily verified, if it’s true.

      neanderthal in reply to Ragspierre. | January 25, 2018 at 9:55 pm

      I believe they said it was a problem with the FBI’s system for collecting data from the Samsung phones, not with the phones themselves. It if were the phones themselves, you could possibly get confirmation from third parties who experienced the same issues. But if it’s in the FBI systems, then you have to take the word of the FBI themselves, who are of course the same people who lost the text messages in the first place and would be motivated to, um, shade their reports to put themselves in a better light.

Noone, I repeat NOONE with an ounce of brain power believed they “lost” anything.

Lying corrupt-o-crats were just crapping their pants….

Bust ’em
Bust ’em ALL

#OrangeJumpSuitsForEveryone

So much for opsec by FBI members… good grief … is this a conspiracy of fools? Dangerous ones but still fools. The Russians and everyone else is having a field day on this.

Humphrey's Executor | January 25, 2018 at 2:39 pm

“Sorry, we don’t have those records any more.”
Translation: “Its too much bother to look for the records you requested. Go away.”

The Fox article words it poorly or clipped badly. It isn’t 50,000 texts that are missing, it is that they currently have 50,000+ texts with a time gap. The missing texts from the 5 months are in addition to the 50,000.

When I first read it I thought, how exactly did they work on anything, that is like a text every 3 minutes (minus sleep). Then I went and read another article which actually explains, they don’t know how many are missing, just that there is a time gap in the 50,000 they do have.

I’m curious that Fox News began their quote in such a way as to snip the context out. “…and, this week, succeeded in…” was how it was written. It’s right there in the letter as reproduced in the tweet above. We are Thursday. “This week” likely means no earlier than Monday. That should be news.

OFF TOPIC, but…

BREAKING: Trump will support a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and Dreamers who were eligible for DACA but didn’t apply, which is about 1.8 million Dreamers, per conference call between Stephen Miller and House Republican staff that @NBCNews was on.

50k messages is NBD. My three daughters can knock out that many in a month and not even break a sweat.

Unless someone can vouch for the chain of evidence, how do we know these texts are real? As in so many other recent cases, be careful about whose word you’re taking for the “facts” you think you know.

Missing emails/texts were just written off under Holder and Lynch. I imagine Sessions refused to accept “we lost them” as an appropriate response. See what happens when you have at least a minimal standard of accountability?

1) Somebody asks for your texts
2) You claim the texts were lost
3) You then claim they are being recovered, but that will take time
4) Time to scrub them, since Congress foolishly won’t demand independent oversight of the recovery
5) profit!

I want to see a photo of LP where someone has slapped that shit eating grin off her face.

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