Numerous cell phones from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team were “accidentally wiped” before the Department of Justice inspector general was able to review the devices, according to newly released government records.
“The records show at least several dozen phones were wiped of information because of forgotten passcodes, irreparable screen damage, loss of the device, intentional deletion or other reasons — and came before the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) could review the devices,” Fox News reported. “The OIG opened an investigation into possible bias in the origins of the Russia Investigation, but determined that the FBI complied with policies in launching the politically explosive probe. Still, the OIG flagged ‘significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised.'”
The OIG’s investigation into possible political bias that was involved in the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016 was limited in scope. U.S. Attorney John Durham launched a full-scale administrative review over what happened, which quickly turned into a criminal investigation after he reportedly uncovered evidence of misconduct.
Federalist co-founder Sean Davis was the first to release the new records showing that Mueller’s team wiped their phones.
“Newly released DOJ records show that multiple top members of Mueller’s investigative team claimed to have ‘accidentally wiped’ at least 15 (!) phones used during the anti-Trump investigation after the DOJ OIG asked for the devies to be handed over,” Davis wrote. “Federal records show that Mueller deputy Andrew Weismann claims to have ‘accidentally’ wiped, via wrong passwords at least 2 phones detailing his activity during the anti-Trump probe. James Quarles’ phone ‘wiped itself.’ Greg Andre also made the same wrong password claim.”
Federal records show that Mueller deputy Andrew Weismann claims to have "accidentally" wiped, via wrong passwords at least 2 phones detailing his activity during the anti-Trump probe. James Quarles' phone "wiped itself." Greg Andre also made the same wrong password claim…
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 10, 2020
“Mueller deputy Kyle Freeny similarly claimed that his phone was accidentally wiped after too many wrong passwords were entered. Same with Mueller deputy Rush Atkinson. At least a 12 other officials whose names are redacted also claimed to have ‘accidentally’ nuked their phones,” Davis continued. “The newly released DOJ records from the OIG investigation of corruption during the Mueller probe shows that a key tactic used by the Mueller team was to put the phones in airplane mode, lock them, and then claim they didn’t have the password.”
The newly released DOJ records from the OIG investigation of corruption during the Mueller probe shows that a key tactic used by the Mueller team was to put the phones in airplane mode, lock them, and then claim they didn't have the password. pic.twitter.com/KrRx99OU4u
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) September 10, 2020
Davis later added: “What are the actual probabilities of more than a dozen top Mueller officials all ‘accidentally’ nuking their phones or accidentally putting them in airplane mode, locking them, and ‘forgetting’ their passwords so the DOJ OIG couldn’t access and examine them? Negative 100,000%?”
Durham’s criminal investigation has already netted at least one guilty plea as attorney Kevin Clinesmith admitted to a judge that he “had intentionally inserted words into the text of the email, which discussed past relations between the C.I.A. and Carter Page,” The New York Times reported.
“The alteration was uncovered last year by an inspector general report laying out a litany of errors and omissions in the Page wiretap applications,” the Times added. “They included the F.B.I.’s failure to tell judges about Mr. Page’s history of talking to the C.I.A. about his interactions with Russian intelligence officials, a fact that might have made him look less suspicious. The report suggested that Mr. Clinesmith’s move prevented a colleague from recognizing the problem.”
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