Rep. Gaetz to FBI Director: 'Where Are Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page's Phones Currently?'

By Michael W. Chapman | January 25, 2018 | 11:43am EST
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) speaking
on the House floor. (CSPAN)

( -- House Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), along with eight other members of Congress, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray on Wednesday demanding answers to numerous questions about the alleged loss of five months of phone-text messages bewteen anti-Trump FBI agents Peter Strzok and his mistress, Lisa Page. In particular, the congressmen want to know where are the phones used by Strzok and Page and did the alleged loss occur because of the phones or the FBI's retrieval procedures.

In a Jan. 25 press release about the letter, Rep. Gaetz's said, "This letter follows the FBI’s announcement [on Jan. 19], in a letter sent by the Justice Department to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which stated that ‘FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page’ for a period of five months.

FBI counterintelligence officer Peter Strzok and
his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (YouTube) 

"Stephen Boyd, the Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs at the Justice Department, attributed the failure to ‘misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI’s collection capabilities.’"

"The FBI agents whose text messages were lost were Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who have recently come under scrutiny for their vehemently anti-Trump correspondence, and discussing a cryptic ‘insurance policy’ were Trump to be elected," said Gaetz.

"During the five months of missing messages, President Trump formally took office, Michael Flynn was hired, fired, and interviewed (by Peter Strzok), Buzzfeed published the ‘salacious and unverified’ dossier, and Robert Mueller was appointed to serve as Special Counsel. The FBI’s message-retention capabilities were suddenly restored on May 17th, the same day Mueller was appointed."

FBI Director Christopher Wray. (DOJ)

Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer, was briefly assigned to Special Counsel Mueller's investigation of the Trump campaign for alleged "collusion" with Russia. She is back at the Bureau now. Peter Strzok, one of the FBI's top counterintelligence investigators, was also assigned to Mueller's team. However, once the virulently anti-Trump texts were discovered last summer -- along with the adulterous affairs between Page and Strzok -- Strzok was reassigned to work at the FBI's human resources department. 

In some of the phone texts that were recovered, and disclosed last month, FBI lawyer Lisa Page refers to Trump as an “enormous douche,” a “loathsome human” who “should go F himself.”

Peter Strzok, who "investigated" Hillary Clinton's illicit use of a private server and mishandling of classified documents, says in his texts,  “F TRUMP,” he is a “f***ing idiot,” and his supporters are “PATHETIC” and “DOUCHEBAGS.”

Strzok is also the agent who rewrote part of James Comey's exoneration of Hillary Clinton, replacing the words "grossly negligent," a legal term, to "extremely careless" in regard to Clinton's mishandling of classified documents. 

In texts released to Congress last Friday, several lawmakers have disclosed that Strzok and Page discuss a "secret society" in the FBI that apparently is dedicated to damaging President Trump. 

The Jan. 24 letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray states:

Dear Director Wray:

It has come to our attention that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has “failed to preserve” nearly five months of text messages between FBI Agents Lisa Page and Peter Strzok on FBI-provided devices. Given the context surrounding these messages and the ongoing investigations being conducted by the House of Representatives, we request that your agency provide us with the following information:

1.       The policies and procedures in place to collect, capture, or store electronic information, such as text messages and e-mails, on FBI-provided devices;

2.       The policies and procedures in place to maintain retention and storage when devices encounter rollouts, provisioning, and/or software upgrades; and

3.       The policies and procedures on retrieval of data held in both short- and long-term storage.

Additionally, we would like answers to the following questions:

1.       Where are Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page’s phones currently?

2.       What was the exact model of Samsung issued to Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page?

3.       What wireless company provided service to Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page’s FBI-issued phones?

4.       Was it changes resulting from Samsung or the FBI that led to retention failure in this instance?

5.       Has the FBI attempted to manually back-up Mr. Strzok and/or Ms. Page’s FBI-issued phones?

6.       Does the FBI utilize both manual- and automated-collection processes?

7.       During the timeframe of the missing messages, was the FBI relying only on automatic procedures to back up devices?

8.       Did automatic back-up processes work both before and after the period of missing messages?

9.       Please explicitly outline the configurations for automatic backups.

10.   On what date did you become aware that the text messages in this instance were missing?

This information is crucial for our ability to execute our oversight authority in an effective manner. As such, we would ask that you respond to these requests by Monday, February 5, 2018.

Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

The other GOP House members who signed the letter are Andy Biggs (Ariz.), Ron DeSantis (Fla.), Blake Farenthold (Texas), Jim Jordan (Ohio), Raul R. Labrador (Idaho), Mark Meadows (N.C.), Mark Sanford (S.C.), and Glenn Thompson (Penn.).


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