By KRISTINE FRAZAO
WASHINGTON, D.C. (KATU) - There’s a new investigation at the Justice Department into five months of missing text messages between senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who reportedly used their phones to criticize Donald Trump throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, including calling him an “idiot.”
The missing texts are from the period between December 2016 and May 2017. During this period, allegations against National Security Adviser Michael Flynn came to light, the Christopher Steele dossier was published, FBI director James Comey was fired and Special Counsel Robert Mueller was hired.
In an interview Tuesday, President Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow expressed skepticism.
“So it just happens to be that the five most critical months in this probe is when agents were doing inappropriate activity or not available,” he asked.
In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to investigate.
“We will leave no stone unturned to confirm with certainty why these text messages are not now available to be produced and will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source," Sessions said. "If we are successful, we will update the congressional committees immediately.”
Last week, nearly 400 pages of text messages between Strzok and Page were delivered to six congressional committees investigating whether political bias may have played a role in the Hillary Clinton email investigation or the current Russia probe.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) has seen the new batch of text messages.
“We saw more manifest bias against President Trump all the way thru the election and into the transition,” he said in an interview on Fox News.
Gowdy also mentioned something about a “secret society” seen in the texts, which Sekulow also spoke about.
“Well it appears as if he had internally decided that there was some internal group that was going to operate a Secret society (sic) whatever they call that in the event of a Trump election,” Sekulow said.
Critics say targeting these agents' text messages is simply an attempt to disable or discredit Mueller's investigation.
"It’s just embarrassing the extent people are now prepared to go to try to change the subject. I think agents are entitled to their personal political views and they’re entitled to express them privately,” said Georgetown Law Professor Mike Seidman in an interview in December, when some of the criticisms first came to light
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee responded Tuesday:
“Republicans are now attacking the FBI in order to undermine Special Counsel Mueller and protect President Trump, but their claims are directly at odds with the facts. Republicans condemn FBI officials for supposedly taking action during the presidential campaign to assist Clinton and harm Trump, but this ignores the plain reality that these same FBI officials were involved in notifying Congress just days before the election that the FBI was reopening the Clinton investigation - an unprecedented action that severely damaged Clinton’s bid for President.”