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Mueller Team Reportedly ‘Wiped’ Their Cell Phones, Republicans Demand Answers

Mueller Team Reportedly ‘Wiped’ Their Cell Phones, Republicans Demand Answers

Sen. Graham: “The question is, did they obstruct justice, did they intentionally delete information from their phone because [Inspector General Michael] Horowitz was on the case?”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KofNmNat6us

Judicial Watch found that the Robert Mueller team “wiped” at least 25 phones used during the Mueller investigation.  The DOJ/IG requested to see the devices as part of their investigation into the origins and activities of the Mueller investigation.

The media, of course, is silent about this bombshell, but Congressional Republicans are demanding answers.

According to Judicial Watch, numerous devices were wiped.  Here’s a partial list of findings:

  • 20 phones were reported wiped of data due to “accidental wipe” (usually from entering the password too many times);
  • 2 phones were reported wiped after placed in airplane mode from which they could not be unlocked because password was forgotten, including the phones of Andrew Weissmann (2 phones) and two deputies of Mueller, Kyle Freeny and Rush Atkinson.
  • 1 phone was wiped clean without explanation.
  • There are no records of Robert Mueller’s phone’s ever being reviewed.

. . . . The newly released records include a log of all mobile phones issued to the Mueller team that reveals a total of 25 names, including Robert Mueller himself, along with Strzok, Page and Andrew Weissmann. Eight of the 25 names are redacted under FOIA’s “personal privacy” exemptions.

Judicial Watch’s president, Tom Fitton, noted the possible obstruction occurring: “The pandemic of ‘wiped’ phones among the Mueller team requires a criminal investigation of this destruction of evidence and  potential obstruction of justice and other crimes. . . . The DOJ and FBI hid these records for nearly two years – which only adds to appearance of a cover-up.”

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany also noted the problematic disappearance of potential key evidence.

“Now we learn what Mueller’s team was doing,” she said. “Several dozens, think about that, several dozens of devices returned damaged, wiped clean, some of them intentionally so. One of those devices was Andrew Weissmann’s … who was rebuked 9-0 by the Supreme Court for prosecutorial overreach and misconduct — and Lisa Page too, among these offenders.

“Muller [sic] is saying, ‘We’ll prosecute you for process, while we, several dozens of us, are engaging in the same kind of obstruction.’ That is uncalled for.”

President Trump is, naturally, furious.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1304767518775611394

Congressional Republicans are demanding answers.

Fox News reports:

Congressional Republicans demanded answers on Friday as to whether there “was a widespread intentional effort” to wipe the mobile devices of multiple people on former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team during the Russia probe, and suggested this could amount to “anticipatory obstruction of justice.”

. . . . The calls come after newly released records from the Justice Department showed that at least several dozen phones belonging to members of Mueller’s team were wiped of information because of forgotten passcodes, irreparable screen damage, loss of the device, intentional deletion or other reasons—all before the Justice Department inspector general’s office could review the devices.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, penned a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray on Friday, pressing for details on what actions were taken to recover material deleted from the mobile devices assigned to Mueller’s team.

“It appears that Special Counsel Mueller’s team may have deleted federal records that could be key to better understanding their decision-making process as they pursued their investigation and wrote their report,” Grassley wrote. “Indeed, many officials apparently deleted the records after the DOJ Inspector General began his inquiry into how the Department mishandled Crossfire Hurricane.”

. . . . Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on Friday also demanded answers, telling Fox News he was “outraged by it.”

“I’m not a lawyer, but I am aware of the concept of anticipatory obstruction of justice,” Johnson told Fox News in a text message, saying the action of “accidentally wiping a phone because you entered the wrong password too many times” makes him “HIGHLY skeptical,” and a dozen people making “the same mistake is COMPLETELY unbelievable.”

“This needs to be fully investigated,” he said, adding that he has requested a phone call with Wray on Friday to discuss.

Johnson also sent a letter to Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz requesting a probe over the issue.

In addition to Sens. Grassley and Johnson, Sen. Lindsay Graham says that he intends to get to the bottom of this and to determine whether or not one or more of those involved obstructed justice.

Fox News continues:

Meanwhile, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., slammed Mueller’s team on Fox News’ “Hannity,” saying: “If you can’t manage your own phone, why should we trust you to investigate a crime?”

Graham added: “The question is, did they obstruct justice, did they intentionally delete information from their phone because [Inspector General Michael] Horowitz was on the case?”

Graham said that question should be considered by U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham, who is currently investigating the origins of the Russia probe.

“My job, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is to find out how the Department of Justice and the FBI got Crossfire Hurricane so wrong, why they lied to the FISA court, [and] to make sure it never happens again,” Graham said.

This is a developing story; we will provide updates as more details become available.

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Comments

Lucifer Morningstar | September 12, 2020 at 7:45 pm

<b.Judicial Watch found that Robert Mueller team “wiped” at least 25 phones using during the Mueller investigation. The DOJ/IG requested to see the devices as part of their investigation into the origins and activities of the Mueller investigation.

And nothing, I repeat, nothing will be done by the Republicans to hold those that “accidentally” or otherwise wiped their phone accountable for their actions. We’ll get a lot of faux outrage from Republicans and then . . . nothing will be done as Republicans simply don’t have the balls to push the issue. They never do. And the criminal acts of the democrats will go unpunished once again. Guranteed.

    Graham is again rushing to the camera to voice his outrage. Now he can go on vacation. We will NEVER know what is in the Durham Report. Our only hope now is that Trump makes good on his threat to release it to the public himself.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Pasadena Phil. | September 13, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Good Fox interview about this.

      https://twitter.com/i/status/1304594027770241026

        The best part is that it is a Trump tweet linking to the interview of a Congresswoman calling for the immediate release of ALL classified information on the investigations. Is he about to declassify and release everything? Is that why Barr and his apparent favorite senator Graham came out to announce new upcoming actions from the Durham investigation?

        I have zero confidence in how, when and through whom Barr makes his declarations. I look to the lower ranks like Nunes and independent investigators like Tom Fitton for reliable information. She seems to fit into that mold. Could be a good sign.

“Democrats destroy evidence and obstruct justice , Republicans like Graham posture uselessly for the cameras and hope voters don’t notice”

You wing nuts would complain if they returned the phones all dirty and icky and laden with cooties.

The electronic communications (EC) are more than likely preserved. Handing a SC team phones without setting up the EC to be captured/preserved remotely would be negligent in and of itself. Couple that with any type of signed records act admonition given when the phones were issued, “intent” issues are no longer debatable IMO. If there are any damning EC’s (betting several paychecks almost all are), the act of wiping them coupled with the written admonition (if completed at the time of issue) is sure to be taken at face value as the sign of a guilty mind. I’m wondering if privilege and confidentiality issues were addressed in the written admonition if they were indeed required. Interesting we’re getting some michael cohen tapes dropping during this time. Almost like Team Trump expected the creation of a team mueller.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 12, 2020 at 8:26 pm

They are as good as Hillary in her bathroom then.

They better check for all that info on Biden’s teleprompter.

@mbracemoore
Check out the teleprompter in the reflection. Biden blatantly read from a script for most of the interview with James Corden.

I bet his handlers weren’t too happy with him going off script. He probably got reprimanded.

It’s a power move.

They have so little fear of RINO investigations that they don’t even bother to come up with believable lies.

They’re literally throwing it in our faces and daring them to do something about it.

But the RINOs won’t do a goddamn thing. Which is why the Mueller squad pulled this crap to begin with, they have absolutely zero fear they will suffer consequences.

    CorkyAgain in reply to Olinser. | September 12, 2020 at 10:03 pm

    Even if they do get nailed for destruction of evidence, that evidence will never be available for exposing the full scope of the conspiracy and for prosecuting the higher-ups they’re protecting.

    They probably figure that worst case, they’ll serve a short sentence in a minimum-security federal prison, taking one for the team, and that they’ll be rewarded for it when they come out.

    I hate to say it, but they’re probably right. I’d love to be proven wrong!

When all is said and done, a lot gets said, and little gets done.

Put even one of these criminals behind bars, and I’ll start to take this seriously. Until then, give the constant braggadocio a rest already.

they do this because they get away with it.

Every.
Single.
Time.

When they start going to jail for it instead finding some other cushy government chair, then it will stop.

Surprise ! Surprise ! Surprise !

all 15 or 27 or 31 phones had the exact same “ACCIDENT”

    MattMusson in reply to Lewfarge. | September 13, 2020 at 7:54 am

    It is very easy to accidentally wipe your phone.

    Just enter Admin Mode

    Choose Erase Data

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    Accidentally enter bad password

    And, of course, ignore the ten separate
    warning messages that pop up to warn you.

    See how easy that was? Easy enough that FBI
    Agents do it all the time.

Every time I see a photo of that dude, my brain says, “Leslie Neilsen.’

Not to fear, people!

Lindsey Graham is the bottom… erm, will get to the bottom of these incidents!

southern commenter | September 12, 2020 at 11:19 pm

Reckon the phones were wiped with Chelsea Klinton’s panties as were Hillary’s computer servers?

Irony: Andrew Weissmann pursued a ‘novel’ theory of Obstruction of Justice in the Enron cases where he claimed that *any* destruction of material during an investigation was evidence of wrongdoing regardless of ‘corrupt intent’ or even if it was under subpoena or duplicated elsewhere. Now he wipes *two* phones which are investigative material for the IG, and claims innocence.

The DOJ/IG requested to see the devices

“Requested” isn’t “subpoenaed”. I’m not sure if the phones are, legally speaking, evidence absent a subpoena. I smell a rat, the same kind of rat that allowed Hilary to testify without being sworn in. Higher ups want the evidence gone so they “request” the devices rather than do the right thing and subpoena them. That allows them to destroy the data without being subject to a destruction of evidence charge.

    Arminius in reply to randian. | September 14, 2020 at 12:30 am

    Does the DoJ IG have the authority to subpoena these types of devices? Per 5 U.S.C. app. 3 §6(a)(4) federal IG’s are empowered to “exercise certain administrative subpoena authority.” So the authority is limited; they can subpoena documents only. Not sure if cell phones fall into the definition of documents although in this day and age they should. And in any case an IG has to ask a court to enforce the subpoena. A request is no doubt faster than jumping through all those hoops and no doubt those phones would have been slicked before the judge issued a court order as Weissman et al knew Horowitz had no real authority but a judge can hold them in criminal contempt.

    I wish I could say I’m amazed that the Mueller team got away with this crap, but I can’t be. We’d never get away with these games in the Armed Forces but the rest of the executive branch departments are a different animal altogether. The “rules” are designed to give the illusion of accountability rather than to actually enforce it.

oh wait- did they wipe it with a cloth???… geeze we’ve seen this movie so many times…..

I, too, expect nothing from Grahemnesty or any House or Senate Republican except hot gas emissions.

Trey Gowdy was one of the worst offenders. Apparently he was a federal prosecutor in his home state. You’d never know it from his performance art during investigations when Democrats were called before his committee. Of course they’d come. They were in no more danger than a rat facing a declawed cat with the canine teeth removed (yes, that happens; foxes are bred for the pet trade in countries such as Russia and it’s common to remove the canines since it still is a wild animal). He’d bluster, then go on some TV show and tell the host just how bad Congress is at investigations and that they can’t enforce the law anyway. In other words, it was just theater and nothing was going to happen if he had anything to do with it.

On the other hand Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch who extracted the information from the DoJ is right. This needs to be the subject of a criminal investigation. Because there is now way this could happen by accident. It takes a lot of effort.

https://twitter.com/HansMahncke/status/1304182046772932611?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1304182046772932611%7Ctwgr%5Eshare_3&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitchy.com%2Fsamj-3930%2F2020%2F09%2F11%2Fthats-a-lot-of-data-down-the-drain-byron-york-debunks-claim-that-muellers-team-accidentally-wiped-those-31-cellphones%2F

Hans Mahnke reports that according to Apple’s security guide one can attempt to unlock a phone up to five times without the security system imposing any delay between attempts. After the fifth attempts the system imposes a one minute delay before the user can attempt again. If the sixth attempt is wrong there’s a five minute delay before the user can try again. If the seventh and eight attempt are wrong there’s a fifteen minute delay after each attempt. Then after the 9th attempt the system imposes a one hour delay. Only then can the corrupt scumbags enter the 10th and final wrong passcode which wipes the system of all data.

That’s at least an hour and thirty six minutes, and Weissman said he “accidentally” did this twice. He spent over three hours of effort wiping his phone of all data by accident? A phone he used for two years during the Mueller investigation and he can’t remember his passcode? And if he wasn’t deliberately trying to destroy evidence opposed to the accident that he claims he couldn’t bother to contact either DoJ or Apple tech support after wiping his system the first time to avoid having a second “accident?” Knowing exactly what the result was going to be?

This is so much bullshit. Fitton is right; if the DoJ doesn’t launch a criminal investigation after knowing about this for two years then well and truly the fix is in. And if they do launch a criminal investigation it has to be done by some other federal law enforcement agency such as the U.S. Marshall’s Service and they have to use outside forensics labs to examine the phones. The FBI can’t be trusted.

“Wipes the system of all data…”

Really. That’s hard. Forensic exam in physical possession, please.

They’re phones. Everything sent between them used intermediate info machinery. Where is that? NSA hoovers up tons of non-specific info, n service providers are required to archive more.

Apple devices? Apple synchs n cloud-stores pretty much everything. It’s subpoena time. So, Mr. Cook… nice company you have thete…

Location n connection records abound…

We don’t need any other crime: wiping public records is a crime. They’re our records. Not their phonrs. Not their accounts n services. Not their work. Ours. Give us our stuff.

Every one who “wiped” a “device ” accidentally” gets interviewed right now. Time, place, method. Who they talked to about it. How they got it working again. Maybe interview anybody in the zip code — they might know something.

Any discrepancy from other records is evidence of obstruction, predicate for investigation, n basis of charges. Drag them from their homes at 06:00, on TV. Go after their families for relevant knowledge and as co-conspirators. Bury them in discovery n motion practice.

Every single step n action you announce. Quote the prior persecution n their shills as you do it. “In keeping with Shifty-Schiff’s protocol of…” “In keeping with Muller’s policy of…”

Then KM announces: “This is how we do it now: the process is the punishment. It’s a little different tho — these guys were within govt, while accused Trump was a campaign; these guys did it, while campaign n president were just smeared.”

“I will now slap down yr hackery. Who’s first?”

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