Newly released email from an official who worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation reveals the iPhone belonging to Lisa Page that was thought to be missing was, in fact, in the possession of Mueller team three days after the former FBI lawyer left her position.
Page was processed out of her position on July 14th, 2017, at which time she relinquished all government property in her possession, including her laptop and cellphone. When initially queried about Page’s cellphone both the Special Counsel’s Office and the Justice Department claimed to have no documentation to prove who handled Page’s iPhone after she processed out, or who wiped the data clean from the device before it could be examined two weeks later, an action in violation of Special Counsel’s Office policy.
But documents released by the Justice Department on September 11th, 2020, show that three officials with Mueller’s office certified Page’s return of her iPhone with one individual claiming to have been in receipt of the device. This is direct contradiction to a statement issued by the DoJ Office of Inspector General stating there was no paper trail of the items possession after July 14, 2017.
According to the September 11th, 2020, documents, on July 17th, 2017 – three days after Page was processed out, an administrative officer identified only as LFW emailed Christopher Greer, an assistant director at the DoJ Office of the Chief Information Officer, saying, “I have her phone and laptop,” referring to Page’s items. This was corroborated in an email earlier in the day by Beth McGarry, the executive officer at the Special Counsel’s Office, to Greer which read, Page “returned her mobile phone and laptop.”
Additionally, a property custodian officer, whose name is redacted in the September 11, 2020 documents, certified a form on which Page documented she turned in her cellphone and laptop. The officer’s certification stated, “all government property has been returned or otherwise properly accounted for.”
This information comes as part of a Department of Justice disclose that the Mueller team improperly and illegally reset (or “wiped clean”) at least 22 iPhones used by the Special Counsel’s Office before they could be checked for records. Each of the 22 devices had the entirety of their data and stored information deleted.
Both Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section, were exposed as extremely partisan in their pursuit of evidence in Operation Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign which turned into Mueller’s Special Counsel effort.
The revelation compounds questions about the handling of critical issues both at the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the former Special Counsel’s Office.
Last week, President Trump spotlighted the ideological dysfunction at the FBI by taking shots at FBI Director Christopher Wray’s testimony before the House Homeland Security Committee last week. In his testimony Wray asserted that the FBI investigation into the violent domestic terror group ANTIFA is just “one part” of his investigation. Wray insisted that the investigation was also targeting “racially motivated violent extremists” as well as other groups. Wray stated, “We look at ANTIFA as more of an ideology or a movement than an organization.”
Wray’s comments prompted a tweet from the President:
“…And I look at them as a bunch of well funded ANARCHISTS & THUGS who are protected because the Comey/Mueller inspired FBI is simply unable, or unwilling, to find their funding source, and allows them to get away with ‘murder’. LAW & ORDER!”
…And I look at them as a bunch of well funded ANARCHISTS & THUGS who are protected because the Comey/Mueller inspired FBI is simply unable, or unwilling, to find their funding source, and allows them to get away with “murder”. LAW & ORDER! https://t.co/yHLzB0RQ8e
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 18, 2020