WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has turned over to Congress additional text messages involving an FBI agent who was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team following the discovery of derogatory comments about President Donald Trump.
But the department also said in a letter to lawmakers that its record of messages sent to and from the agent, Peter Strzok, was incomplete because the FBI, for technical reasons, had been unable to preserve and retrieve about five months’ worth of communications.
New text messages highlighted in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray by Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate’s Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, are from the spring and summer of 2016 and involve discussion of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. They reference Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s decision to accept the FBI’s conclusion in that case and a draft statement that former FBI Director James Comey had prepared in anticipation of closing out the Clinton investigation without criminal charges.
The FBI declined to comment Sunday.
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew well in advance of FBI Director James Comey‘s 2016 press conference that he would recommend against charging Hillary Clinton, according to information turned over to the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Friday.The revelation was included in 384 pages of text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and it 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.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.On July 1, 2016, as the Lynch announcement became public, Page texted Strzok:Page: And yeah, it’s a real profile in couragw [sic], since she knows no charges will be brought.