by WorldTribune Staff, January 22, 2018
Though five months of text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page remain unaccounted for, the 384 pages that were turned over to the Senate Homeland Security Committee last week indicate former Attorney General Loretta Lynch had advance notice that then-FBI Director James Comey would not call for criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.
The new information “significantly diminishes the credibility of Lynch’s earlier commitment to accept Comey’s recommendation – a commitment she made under the pretense that the two were not coordinating with each other,” investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson noted in a Jan. 21 op-ed for The Hill.
“And it gets worse. Comey and Lynch reportedly knew that Clinton would never face charges even before the FBI conducted its three-hour interview with Clinton, which was supposedly meant to gather more information into her mishandling of classified information.”
One of the texts from Page to Strzok, which was released to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Jan. 19, indicated that Lynch recused herself from the Clinton investigation on July 1, 2016 fully aware that Clinton would not be charged.
Page: “And yeah, it’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought.”
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee chairman Ron Johnson, in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, revealed that he was notified by the Justice Department that the FBI “failed to preserve” five months of text messages between Strzok and Page – from Dec. 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017.
May 17 was the day that special counsel Robert Mueller was named to lead the investigation of the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
The reason the FBI gave for the missing texts: “(M)any FBI-provided Samsung 5 mobile devices did not capture or store text messages due to misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that 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.”
Attkisson noted that “Any neutral observer would have to be concerned about supposed missing evidence from a premier law enforcement and intel collection agency as well as the types of discussions and conflicts of interest apparently at issue with key officials within the FBI. It’s one more piece of a developing story that unfortunately points to alleged misconduct by some at top levels in our intelligence community. If the allegations bear out, it could have huge implications for a number of investigations handled by the officials in question over the past decade – not just cases related to the 2016 campaign.”