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26 Jun, 2019 16:53

It’s a ‘crime’ Mueller ‘terminated’ messages between FBI agents Strzok & Page – Trump

It’s a ‘crime’ Mueller ‘terminated’ messages between FBI agents Strzok & Page – Trump

US President Donald Trump accused former special counsel investigator Robert Mueller of scrubbing communications between FBI agents investigating his 2016 presidential campaign for alleged ties to Moscow.

Appearing on Fox Business with Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday morning, the president argued Mueller had incriminating text messages erased from official records.

Special counsel Robert Mueller “terminated the emails, he terminated all stuff between Strzok and Page,” the president said. “Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together, he terminated them. They’re gone! And that’s illegal! That is a crime!”

While Trump provided no evidence for the assertion, it was not the first time he suggested the Department of Justice destroyed evidence related to Mueller’s Russia probe. Last year, the president tweeted the “Mueller Angry Democrats” had deleted thousands of “INVALUABLE” messages which he said would reveal the investigation to be a “witch hunt.”

The new accusation comes less than a day after Mueller agreed to testify publicly before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees in connection to his team’s findings on the Russia probe, which after more than two years could establish no ties between the Trump team and Moscow.

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Peter Strzok led the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server, and later worked on the probe into alleged collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign team and the Russian government. Strzok was removed from the investigation on the grounds of bias after text messages surfaced revealing intense personal disdain for the president, sent to a trial attorney on the Mueller team, Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was having an extramarital affair.

In one of the more controversial messages, during the leadup to the 2016 presidential election, Strzok told Page about the need for an “insurance policy” to guarantee Trump never took office. Other communiques referred to Trump as an “idiot” and a “loathsome human.”

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A report from the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last year found that the FBI failed to properly document some 19,000 text messages on agency cell phones, including communications between Strzok and Page. However, the office concluded the messages were not deleted, and the failure to catalogue them was caused by technical glitches in agency software. The OIG ultimately found “no evidence” that any individual “attempted to circumvent” any rules or oversight, and the office has since recovered the communications.

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