Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has investigated whether the DOJ or FBI might have deleted text messages between bureau officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, according to GOP sources who have spoken with members of the IG's team.
The latest batch of text messages between the two officials, who once served on the Russia probe and have come under scrutiny for exchanging anti-Trump and other politically charged texts, was turned over to Congress last week.
The sources told Fox News that the IG's office, so far, has not found evidence that officials from either agency deleted any messages. It is unclear at this point if the office is still investigating the matter, and whether technical glitches might instead be at issue.
A spokesman for the inspector general told Fox News in an email that they were not able to comment.
However, the GOP sources cited issues with texts that were produced to Congress, including the most recent batch.
The texts show numerous messages in a row sent to Page from Strzok’s phone, on different dates, without a response from Page.
Others show texts cutting off mid-sentence, like a Strzok message that says, “They think he is unstable, that he can be manipul.”
Page responds, “Super. I’m not reading tonight, I’m going to try t,” again cutting off mid-word.
Another example is Strzok texting Page, “So please don’t share with Andy [McCabe] yet, I wonder if they’ve al.“ It continues, “And both bill and I have an utter lack of faith in.”
Page responds, “GOD HAVE I MENTIONED HOW FRUSTRATING AND AWFUL MY.”
An FBI spokesperson said the bureau had no comment. A Justice Department spokesperson told Fox News the person was not aware of any such allegations.
An initial batch of text messages between the romantically involved FBI officials was released last December. But lawmakers on Capitol Hill complained about an apparent gap in records between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017—key dates covering the presidential transition, the early days of the Trump administration, the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Horowitz announced earlier this year that his office was able to use forensic tools to recover the missing text messages.
But Republican sources told Fox News that members of the inspector general’s team have dealt with additional glitches with the officials' Samsung devices as they pursue complete records of text messages.
Strzok and Page both served for a short time on Mueller's team. Page left the special counsel's office in July 2017, following a 45-day detail. Strzok was removed from the team amid revelations that he and Page exchanged the politically charged texts.
Page currently serves in the FBI's Office of General Counsel, and Strzok is currently working in the FBI's human resources division.