(National Sentinel) Shut it Down: Legal experts believe that the FBI’s loss of text messages pertaining to disgraced FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok could form the basis of a motion to dismiss special counsel Robert Mueller.
Over the weekend the Department of Justice turned over a new batch of text messages to Congress involving Strzok, but that for ‘technical reasons’ could not retrieve about five months’ worth of communications.
The messages “are from the spring and summer of 2016 and involve discussion of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server,” the AP reported. “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.”
However, that missing batch of messages may be something President Donald J. Trump’s lawyers can use to form the basis of a motion to dismiss Mueller, according to Rachel Stockman and Ronn Blitzer, writing at Law and Crime.
“Strzok has already been outed as anti-Trump, leading to his dismissal from the probe, and his past communications with [FBI lawyer and mistress Lisa] Page showed a potential Justice Department bias towards Hillary Clinton,” they wrote.
“The fact that now nearly half a year’s worth of text messages between Strzok and Page during the time leading up to Robert Mueller‘s appointment as Special Counsel weren’t preserved by the Justice Department will surely fuel motions from Team Trump’s lawyers against the investigation,” they said.
“Months of text messages don’t just accidentally disappear,” the pair wrote, adding:
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.
They also speculated that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who his fighting his indictment by the FBI, will “jump all over this.”
“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,” Stockman and Blitzer said.
Lawyers who spoke to the reporters disagreed that it was a slam dunk for the defense. They said there would have to be clear evidence of bias and malfeasance on the part of the FBI for a judge to chose the “nuclear option” of dismissing the entire case.
Still, if such evidence were to be found, legal experts say a judge might have little choice but to dismiss, as happened recently in the government’s case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy.
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