(National Sentinel) Criminal Conduct: When special counsel Robert Mueller was first appointed more than a year ago, critics pointed out that there was no justification for it — that it was all political — because there was no indication of any crime. “Collusion” with Russia, if it even had happened, is not illegal.
Mueller raised eyebrows again when he brought prosecutors on board who had blown cases in the past by inventing evidence, such as the “corruption” case against former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.
Critics chimed in again after Mueller hired a number of prosecutors with known connections to Democratic politicians including Hillary Clinton and President Obama, several of whom actually donated to their campaigns.
Throughout his investigation into alleged nefarious behavior surrounding POTUS Trump and his 2016 campaign, Mueller has done much to warrant the criticism he has received. And now he’s under fire again for something so obviously wrong it defies belief that he’s still able to continue his investigation.
As noted by Debra Heine at PJ Media, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General could not recover text messages from the iPhones of fired FBI official Peter Strzok and his one-time paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, during their time as members of Mueller’s special counsel team because they were scrubbed.
Fox News added that the iPhones had been given to Strzok and Page by Mueller but were then cleaned by a records officer after both were dismissed from the team, according to a new report from the DoJ IG’s office.
In regards to Strzok’s phone, investigators for the IG’s office were told that it “had been reset to factory settings and was reconfigured for the new user to whom the device was issued.” The records officer for the special counsel said she had “determined it did not contain records that needed to be retained,” and as such wrote in her records log, “No substantive texts, notes or reminders.”
Quoting the report, Fox News noted further that the officer told the IG’s investigators that she did “not recall whether there were any text messages on” Strzok’s phone, though “she made an identical log entry for an iPhone she reviewed from another employee on the same day that she specifically recalled having no text messages.”
In a phone call, Page told the special counsel’s office (SCO) after she left the team that she left her government-issued iPhone and laptop on a bookshelf at the office. The SCO located the laptop, but when the OIG asked for the iPhone on January 24, 2018, the SCO could not locate it.
It was finally located in early September 2018 and the OIG took custody at that time. The report states that on July 31, 2017, two weeks after Page left the special counsel, her iPhone was also wiped and restored to factory settings.
Her phone was not summarily reissued to anyone else within the agency, according to Heine. What’s more, no one within Mueller’s office or the Justice Management Division of the DoJ has a record of who took custody of Page’s iPhone and reset it, the report says.
“Office of the Deputy Attorney General told the OIG that the Department routinely resets mobile devices to factory settings when the device is returned from a user to enable that device to be issued to another user in the future,” the report notes.
In addition, the report says that a “technical glitch” led to a group of text messages between Strzok and Page to vanish. Those have since been recovered by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General.
What bombshells are contained in those messages, reported to be about 19,000? We may know soon if someone leaks them or if POTUS Donald Trump orders them released.
All things being equal, it certainly seems like Robert Mueller did his best to hide/destroy key evidence. If that’s not obstruction of justice, then what is?
A version of this story first appeared at NewsTarget.
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