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January 22, 2018

Literally "Unbelievable:" Congressmen Rip FBI's Excuses for "Losing" Strzok Texts; Say This Is Bigger Than Lois Lerner

Unbelievable. Literally.

No one should believe this, because it's an obvious lie.

The revelation that the FBI "failed to preserve" five months worth of anti-Trump agents’ text messages is evoking memories of Lois Lerner, the IRS official whose emails mysteriously disappeared during congressional investigations into her targeting of conservative non-profit groups.

"The [Lois] Lerner thing was huge," Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan told The Daily Caller. "My gut tells me this is probably bigger."

Isn't it funny how misbehaving, weaponized parts of the bureaucracy keep "losing" evidence of their crimes when called to account?

Jordan, who serves on the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees, sees parallels to the Lerner investigation...

After months of investigation, IRS officials claimed that thousands of Lerner emails from before April 2011 had been lost due to a crash of her email system. The snafu occurred in June 2011, just days after the House Ways and Means Committee requested IRS documents, including emails from Lerner’s division.

During this period when Strzok's/Page's texts were "lost" (deliberately), December 2016 to May 2017, many important things happened in the RUSSIA investigation, which the texts could have shed light on:

Conversations between Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

The completion and publication of the intelligence community assessment of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The briefing in which FBI director James Comey told President-elect Donald Trump about the Trump dossier.

This is a huge one, as many suspect, for very good reason, that this briefing was not a briefing of the president but of the press -- the press had passed on reporting on the Pee-Pee Party dossier, so Clapper and Comey decided to "brief the president" about it, for the express purpose of then immediately leaking news of the "briefing" to the press, for the express purpose of making the otherwise-unreportable dossier now reportable.

After all, the dossier had been "briefed" to the president. Doesn't that now make it something that the public should know about (via an illegal leak)?

Other things that happened during the period of the "lost" email:

The president's inauguration.

The nomination and confirmation of new Justice Department leadership.

Flynn's interview with the FBI (conducted by Strzok).

Comey's assurances to Trump that he, Trump, was not under investigation.

A variety of revelations, mostly in the Washington Post and New York Times, about various Trump figures under investigation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions' recusal from the Russia probe.

Would there have been texts discussing this? Maybe speaking about it in a way that suggested this was a set-up for the exact purpose of getting the more-pliable Ron Rosenstein in charge of making decisions about a special prosecutor?

The firing of top Obama Justice Department holdover Sally Yates.

Trump's tweet alleging he was wiretapped.

Trump's firing of Comey.

And, finally, on May 17, 2017 — the final day of the missing texts — the appointment of Trump-Russia special prosecutor Robert Mueller.

"Strzok and Page had a lot to talk about," Byron York dryly comments.

BTW, York also notes a real hmmmdinger of a new text which the FBI didn't "lose" but is now disclosing. It involves Strzok and Page saying that now that Trump would be the nominee (after Cruz dropped out), the "pressure" to conclude the investigation into Hillary's emails was now even more urgent.

John Sexton also writes about this.

Below, "MYE" refers to "Mid-Year Examination," which is the euphemism the FBI used to refer to the Clinton email investigation.

Ms. Page: And holy s**t Cruz just dropped out of the race. It's going to be a Clinton Trump race. Unbelievable.

Mr. Strzok: What?!?!??

Ms. Page: You heard it right my friend.

Mr. Strzok: I saw trump [sic] won, figured it would be a bit.

Mr. Strzok: Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE….

Ms. Page: It sure does. We need to talk about follow up call tomorrow. We still never have.

And they weren't talking about pressure to bring charges against her, of course. They meant it was now imperative to clear her so she could beat Trump.

The "loss" of key information which would otherwise be turned over to defendants in the dragnet could very well lead to a motion to dismiss charges against Manafort and other members of Trump's team.

Months of text messages don’t just accidentally disappear. One past conversation between Strzok and Page indicated that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew there would be no charges filed against Clinton well before that investigation ended. Given the significant evidence of impropriety in the Clinton case, a foregone conclusion of innocence before the FBI wrapped up their investigation looks shady at best. Trump’s lawyers will surely argue that after those messages came to light, the DOJ intentionally "lost" those five months; worth of other messages.

Look for Paul Manafort to jump all over this. He’s already fighting his indictment, claiming that Mueller is overstepping his authority and shouldn’t be running the investigation. Throw in this evidence that the investigation may have been tainted before Mueller even took over, and that the DOJ could be covering up damaging information, and a motion to dismiss alleging prosecutorial misconduct is a near certainty.

Steven Green has a cynical interpretation of this literally unbelievable "loss" of key information -- you're not even intended to believe it.

You're supposed to take it as a warning by the FBI that they can break whatever law they like and perjure themselves to courts and Congress and you can't do a damn thing about it, so you'd damn well better fall in line.

One more thing: A source connected to the House Intelligence Committee says the FBI must now affirmatively prove that the "loss" of these emails is not deliberate wrongdoing.

The source was described by Fox News as a member of the congressional committee investigating the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation.

"The FBI must show now that the missing texts are not obstruction of congressional oversight or destruction of evidence," the source reportedly stated

The FBI claims this is a "misconfiguration problem" which affected some Samsung 5 phones.

But per Chuck Ross, the FBI is now refusing to answer the question: How many such phones suffered this "misconfiguration problem"?

Because if the number turns out to be somewhere between 2 and 20, and most of those phones just happen to be those used by Mueller's team and the various partisans whose names we've come to know so well, we've got some serious, hire-a-criminal-attorney problems, lads.

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posted by Ace at 05:11 PM

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