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IG Report: Strzok, Page iPhones Wiped Clean, Thousands of Texts Destroyed Before IG Could Review Them

IG Report: Strzok, Page iPhones Wiped Clean, Thousands of Texts Destroyed Before IG Could Review Them

An FBI officer on Mueller’s team had reviewed Strzok’s iPhone and reported “No substantive texts, notes or reminders”

On Thursday the IG published a bombshell report regarding the now-infamous anti-Trump sentiment shared between two key members of the FBI and of the Mueller investigation team, Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page.

The IG report reveals not only that both Strzok’s and Page’s iPhones were wiped clean and restored to factory settings by a member of Mueller’s team but that Strzok’s iPhone was then reissued to another agent for use.

The Federalist reports:

The Department of Justice wiped text messages between former FBI employees Lisa Page and Peter Strozk [sic] from their cell phones before the Office of the Inspector General could review them, a new report from the DOJ watchdog reveals.

Page and Strozk’s [sic] involvement with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has been heavily scrutinized after it was revealed they had sent numerous anti-Trump text messages back and forth to one another. Mueller has been tasked with looking into whether or not Donald Trump and his campaign associates coordinated with Russian officials to steal the 2016 election away from Hillary Clinton.

The 11-page report reveals that almost a month after Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team, his government-issued iPhone was wiped clean and restored to factory settings by another individual working in Mueller’s office. The special counsel’s Record’s Officer told investigators that “she determined it did not contain records that needed to be retained.”

“She noted in her records log about Strzok’s phone: ‘No substantive texts, notes or reminders,’” the report states.

When the OIG obtained his old cell phone in January, it had been issued to another individual within the agency and investigators were unable to recover any text messages sent or received by Strozk [sic] on that device.

Two weeks after Page departed Mueller’s team on July 15, 2017, her government-issued iPhone was also wiped and restored to factory settings and had not been reissued to another person within the agency. No one within the special counsel’s office or the Justice Management Divisions of the agency had any records as to who cleared all the data from the iPhone.

The officer who reviewed Strzok’s iPhone and declared it contained “No substantive texts, notes or reminders” admits that she did not conduct a similar review of Page’s iPhone prior to it being wiped clean and restored to factory settings.

Fox News reports:

Unlike with Strzok’s phone, the records officer on Mueller’s team stated that “she did not receive the phone following Page’s departure from the [special counsel’s office] and therefore she did not review Page’s iPhone for records that would possibly need to be retained prior to the phone having been reset.”

President Trump is incensed.

Additionally, the report reveals that thousands of text messages were ultimately recovered from both Strzok’s and Page’s Samsung Galaxy phones, messages that had previously been reported as “lost.”  The content of the recovered messages has not yet been made public.

Townhall reports:

The OIG did not produce the content of the text messages in its report.

“The OIG forensically recovered thousands of text messages from FBI mobile devices issued to Strzok and Page through its multiple extraction efforts. Approximately 9,311 text messages were recovered from Strzok’s S5 [Samsung],” the report states. “Approximately 10,760 text messages were recovered from Page’s S5.”

The IG reports that these text messages had previously been “lost” from the Samsung phones due to an FBI ” collection tool failure.”

Fox News reports:

While the FBI maintains a system to wirelessly collect text messages sent to, or received by, FBI-issued mobile devices, the IG found that the system had failed systemically while Strzok and Page were texting.

“Approximately 9,311 text messages were recovered from Strzok’s [phone] during the collection tool failure period,” the IG wrote. “Approximately 10,760 text messages were recovered from Page’s [phone] during the collection tool failure period.”

The FBI reportedly switched to iPhones in response to this failure, so it’s not yet clear whether or not the FBI system of wirelessly collecting text messages sent to and from FBI-issued mobile devices contains the text messages deleted from the wiped Strzok and Page iPhones.

The IG report itself indicates that there is no means of recording such messages by the FBI.

During calendar year 2017, the FBI phased out use of the Samsung Gala.xy S5 devices by its employees and replaced them with Samsung Oala’Cy S7 devices because of software and other issues that prevented the data collection tool from reliably capturing text messages sent and received via FBI issued Samsung Galaxy SS mobile devices. According to FBl’s Information and Technology Branch, as of November 15, 2018, the data collection tool utilized by FBI was still not reliably collecting text messages from approximately IO percent of FBI issued mobile devices, which included Samsung S7s and subsequently issued S9s. By comparison, the estimated failure rate of the collection tool was 20 percent for the Samsung S5s.

The 010 reviewed DOJ memoranda and FBI policy relating to retention of substantive electronic communications. These policies require individual employees to take steps to ensure preservation of such electronic communications relating to a criminal or civil investigation. The FBI policy informs its employees to contact the FBl’s Enterprise Security Operations Center (ESOC) if they need to access electronic communications that the individual has not preserved, such as text messages and email messages.

According to FBI’s Office of General Counsel, ESOC has in place a process for the collection of text messages. However, the OIG determined that the FBI does not currently have a specific policy directive mandating that FBI, through ESOC or otherwise, collect text messages sent and received by FBI employees using their FBI issued mobile devices.


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Mueller tried to completely erase the memory of each cell phone. There is no record of who had custody of Page’s cell. Sounds like a clear attempt to obstruct the Congressional investigation. Et Tu Mueller?

How nice that two of the biggest opponents of Trump who were also investigating him just happened to have their phones wiped.

The number of coincidences that keep happening in this farce break all laws of statistics.

And not one damn thing will be done to anyone. Justice is no longer being served. There are now two sets of laws. One for the Feds and their crony friends and one for everyone else.

Honestly, if the British pulled a “Surprise! It’s 1812 all over again you stupid Yanks!” sneak-attack and burned all of Washington DC to the ground I’d be cheering them on.

    MattMusson in reply to Blueshot. | December 17, 2018 at 8:00 am

    If you destroy it before it becomes ‘evidence’ is that illegal?

      Blueshot in reply to MattMusson. | December 17, 2018 at 8:07 am

      They are not supposed to destroy any records. Every text and email you send on a government issued phone or computer is supposed to be saved.

        And since we know that the NSA collects everything from everybody, shouldn’t there be a subpoena to the NSA to produce those texts? Doesn’t that in itself prove the duplicity of our government national security/justice system?

        This is exactly why Deep State wants Edward Snowden hanged.

          “”shouldn’t there be a subpoena to the NSA to produce those texts?””

          Yeah, that’ll work. Ask the House Republicans about how well the swamp responds to subpoenas.

          @txvet: Surrendering your constitutional powers to an unconstitutional arrangement is no reason to not issue the subpoena. The Deep State needs to be overwhelmed just like they are doing to Trump.

          There is not bigger issue confronting everyone today than the usurpation of our constitutional rights by the government. It is not a Democrat/Republican or liberal/conservative issue. It is about surrendering out freedoms by not defending them.

          I don’t disagree with you in theory, it’s just that I don’t see where they’re “overwhelmed” when basically all they’re doing is ignoring the subpoenas.

          Snowden is a hero. Hey Echelon program, did you record that? Of course you did.

      If Mueller’s Merry Band had the phones, the contents were obviously considered of some importance to the investigation and were evidence even if a decision was made to not use it. In an investigation all evidence is kept and when the investigation is completed it is all sent to storage or, if appropriate, returned to the owner if the property is not used.

Mueller and his corrupt criminal band are all crooks. How much evidence of this do you need?

Trump may be the cleanest politician to ever hold the office of the presidency given the entire efforts of the crooked DOJ and FBI have failed to unearth anything of importance.

Burn the DOJ and FBI to the ground and start over. Corrupt institutions have no value to freedom. These institutions are antithetical to freedom, liberty, justice, and the rule of law.

Wake me up when they finally hold SOMEBODY accountable.

How many documents do Democrats have to destroy before SOMEBODY holds them accountable?

Why the hell do you think Clinton was so blatant about wiping the server, and Mueller was so blatant about wiping the phones.


    BINGO! What Olinser said. Who will go to prison for this obvious obstruction of justice evidence tempering? Who?

    Same for Mrs. PantsSuit and her destruction of digital devices and records – despite a subpoena for these items. Who will go to prison?

    Apparently no one.

    Two tiers of rules is how revolutions are fomented…

Winston Wolf.

It seems to me that the DOJ IG is protecting an unnamed somebody’s ass and I don’t mean Mueller, Strzok or Page. If the software that we are paying a gazillion dollars for is faulty to the point of allowing inadvertent or deliberate alteration of official phone records – there is another way to solve the problem.

Call up NSA and have them retrieve the original recordings. I didn’t read about that possibility in the report (unless the information was skillfully redacted) – so what is going on here?

The labyrinthine lies and deceitful actions of Deep State weasels know no bounds.

I’d like to know, under what authority or standard procedure, FBI executive service employees… ( these were not just ” agents “, who are FIRED / AND /OR DEMOTED for cause have their FBI phones wiped???

How in the world is that SOP?? We all know it is far from it. This is just another crazy coincidence that just happens to have happened. All I know is, outside of this coverup operation and coup attempt, charges would be brought by DA’s and judges would be throwing folks in jail. Evidently, being anti-Trump and FBI carries a LOT of weight in Virginia. Incredible. The Justice system is a joke.

I don’ know nufin’.

    Edward in reply to tiger66. | December 17, 2018 at 8:13 am

    If the perpetrator of this outrage were to be called before an investigating Congressional Committee we would see the best John Banner reprise in TV history.

When the authorities say, ” move along…nothing to see here” they really meant it. Hillary bit bleached and physically had Blackberries destroyed…and now this. The FBI knows how to cover for the Deep State. The FBI is competing to see if they can be dirtier than the BATF….

Yet they can raid your home, office, and digital media, and you can be prosecuted for evidence destruction for attempting to wipe you de devices…

    iowan2 in reply to stl. | December 17, 2018 at 7:08 am

    In the real world. Just the fact evidence was destroyed is proof of the crime.

    So if you are under investigation for tax fraud, and you destroy your financials, that destruction of evidence. is all the proof needed to convict you.

I was a municipal employee with a government email and cell phone. They kept everything! I cant imagine the federal government policy is more lax; practice may be another thing. Its why clintons foia and classified violations are so obvious. You are a government employee, your work related communications are government property.

Sorry Mr President, I just can’t agree with your statement that Lisa Page is lovely.

So, that would be multiple felonies if you did it. No consequences when they do it.

Stinks like a fresh wind off a pig farm sewage lagoon.

I can explain it. Obstruction of justice is hard to prove and is a much lower crime than treason.

This is absolutely insane.

The corruption within our government is near total.

Let the likes of ryan, boehner, sessions etc claim they were ignorant of it.

Makes you look up high to guys like Trump and Rand Paul.

Why are they so focused on the anti-trump sentiments between these two clowns? Federal employees are allowed to have opinions.

This weird (deliberate?) focus on the insignificant ignores the coverup of wrong-doing by federal employees during the 2016 election and after during the transition. It’s here that actual crimes were committed and that Obummer was being briefed by intelligence agencies on the activities of the Trump team.

    I hear you, rdmdawg, but the anti-Trump sentiment is, at least in some ways, the point pointing to the point. After all, would we be seeing a Mueller-type investigation into Hillary’s dealings with Russia (Uranium One, anyone? And for fun, her Russian “reset”/”overload”). Of course not. This entire debacle is driven by anti-Trump sentiment, so the anti-Trump sentiment of the wrong-doers matters. It’s not all that matters, but it does matter. At least I think so.

    Edward in reply to rdmdawg. | December 17, 2018 at 8:21 am

    Pointing out the actions of Mueller’s Merry Band wrt those two isn’t concentrating on the anti-Trumpism of the two, rather it is pointing to the apparent destruction of evidence by Mueller’s Merry Band. It goes to the legality of actions by Mueller’s Merry Band.

I expected this the entire time. It does annoy me that it took them over a year to confirm that they’d simply cleaned the phones, like with a cloth, and handed them to other agents.

The update could have been written in one day.

So the FBI used the Lois Lerner method to clean the phones?

A criminal act, just light the Hildebeast having her server treated with Bleach Bit. Federal Judges need to stop this nonsense and put some of these people in jail.

Why does someone from Mueller’s office have the right to clean and re-issue an FBI phone. Isn’t there a FBI service division responsible for controlling assets like phones, computers, etc?

OIG: “The Office of the Deputy Attorney General told the OJG that the Department routinely resets mobile devices to factory settings when the device is returned from a user to enable that device to be issued to another user in the future.”

    That’s true as far as it goes. Policies such as this are worded “Policy is X unless A, B, or C.” In this case, as in all government devices, devices under litigation hold or subpoena are required to be held unmodified in a secure location OR have their contents fully extracted in a legally-admissible form. The FBI does this as a routine for devices they capture during searches, taking full disk images of computers including all sectors of the drive, used or unused, in order to do forensic reconstruction of deleted files and other such tidbits.

    Since iPhones are fluid and constantly change over time, I suspect the phones turned in were *supposed* to be electronically archived and that resulting image stored (because otherwise after a year of storage, good luck being able to open or use it). FYI: This was the same thing done to the Weiner laptop when the (as I recall) SDNY scooped it up and electronically imaged it. When the main FBI office then demanded the physical laptop, the actual image should have remained behind, and only a copy should have been sent to the main HQ. (Note: should have) In reality, that image has vanished into the FBI, wrapped up in various classifications and most likely never to be seen again, much like the physical laptop vanished.

    The swamp is deep, people.

    Petrushka in reply to Zachriel. | December 17, 2018 at 11:08 am

    This is really beneath you, Zach. No one routinely wipes phones that contain data being looked at by an IG.

    I would point out that the Nixon 18 minute deletion was not done on a device owned and operated by law enforcement, but it was considered a serious matter, and eventually brought Nixon down.

    The people whose phones were wiped were all fired or forced to resign. That in itself is reason to preserve their messages.

    georgfelis: In this case, as in all government devices, devices under litigation hold or subpoena are required to be held unmodified in a secure location OR have their contents fully extracted in a legally-admissible form.

    Oh. Was there a subpoena for Strzok’s phone when it was reset?

    Petrushka: No one routinely wipes phones that contain data being looked at by an IG.

    Oh. Was there an Inspector General investigation of Strzok when Strzok’s phone was reset?

    Petrushka: I would point out that the Nixon 18 minute deletion was not done on a device owned and operated by law enforcement, but it was considered a serious matter, and eventually brought Nixon down.

    The tapes were under subpoena.

    In any case, the Inspector General found no evidence that the FBI did anything improper.

Can someone explain this to me? I delete message threads constantly as messages use a tremendous amount of memory. However, I assume the phone carrier has them all in a file somewhere. Is that the case here and if it is what’s the big deal?

It’s not just the fact that they destroy the evidence, it’s that they show such open contempt for us when they do it and then smirk when they admit it, knowing that there’ll be no repercussions that really burns.

Too bad Goodell wasn’t isn’t looking into this. Then someone would be serving at least a 4 game suspension.

This Mueller fellow doesn’t get the Justice part of the Department of Justice.

thalesofmiletus | December 17, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Like with a cloth or something?