Opinion / Politics

Besides 22 Wiped Devices, 44 Mueller Team iPhones Had Zero Records

iphoneForty-four iPhones used by members of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation contained no records when they were examined by an office assigned to the team, according to internal documents.

Five more Special Counsel’s Office (SCO) phones contained only one record each, and four others contained fewer than 10 records per device, according to a log kept by a records officer over the course of more than 20 months.

The lack of records on the phones is extraordinary given the immense scope of the probe. It is also suspicious considering that at least 22 phones belonging to members of the Mueller team were wiped, with employees offering questionable explanations for the erasures.

Under U.S. law, government records are defined as “all recorded information, regardless of form or characteristics, made or received by a federal agency under federal law or in connection with the transaction of public business  and preserved or appropriate for preservation by that agency or its legitimate successor as evidence of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, operations, or other activities of the United States government or because of the informational value of data in them.”

Of the 92 unique iPhones used by the Mueller team, only 12 contained a significant number of records, an Epoch Times review of available records determined.

Two well-known members of the Mueller team, FBI attorney Lisa Page and Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok mentioned sending and clearing iMessages from their SCO iPhones on more than one occasion.

“Clear imsg …” Strzok wrote to Page on June 5, 2017, and again on June 8.

Apple’s iMessage service utilizes the internet data network to send messages that bypass the cellular carrier’s text message service. As a result, when the SCO asked Verizon to check how many text messages Strzok and Page sent during their tenure on the Mueller team, Verizon said that none were sent, but noted that data did leave the device.

The records officer, who isn’t identified in the documents, noted that Strzok’s phone contained “no substantive texts, notes or reminders.” Page’s phone went missing under questionable circumstances after she left the Mueller team. When it was recovered more than a year later, the device was already wiped.

The Department of Justice (DOJ), of which the SCO was a part, is bound by laws and regulations to preserve records and prevent them from being destroyed.

The DOJ’s “Records Management” page notably contains a statutory definition of what a record is that has been outdated since late 2014, when the relevant legislation was amended by Congress. The page also incorrectly attributes the definition to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The outdated language came from Congress.

The DOJ didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The iPhones that had no records belonged to some of the key members of the special counsel team, including Mueller himself, deputy special counsel Aaron Zebley, FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, and Andrew Weissman.

Clinesmith pleaded guilty in August to one false statement charge in connection to an email he forged while serving as the primary FBI attorney assigned to the SCO. He edited the email as part of the process for preparing a secret-court application for a warrant to surveil a former Trump campaign adviser.

Clinesmith, Page, and Strzok were among a group of officials who worked on the investigation of the Trump campaign and expressed intense bias against Trump. Strzok, who maintained an extramarital relationship with Page, spoke of stopping Trump from becoming president, mentioned an “insurance policy” in the unlikely case Trump won the election, and mused about impeachment around the time he joined Mueller’s team.

“I am so stressed about what I could have done differently,” Clinesmith wrote to his FBI colleague Sally Moyer on the day after Trump’s victory in November 2016. “I’m just devastated.”

“Plus, my [expletive] name is all over the legal documents investigating his staff,” he wrote a few messages later.

Messages from the trio offered the public an extraordinary glimpse into the nature of the investigation and now raise questions about why more than dozens of other Mueller team phones turned up with no records.

The records officer assigned to the Mueller team reviewed some of the phones more than once. As a result, some of the phones were recorded as having no records at one point and as having been wiped on another occasion. For purposes of clarity, such phones were counted toward the 22 which were wiped and not part of the 42 which had no records.

Some of the phones, such as the one belonging to Strzok, were reviewed for records as part of the exit procedure, wiped, and reassigned to another SCO member. Four of these reassigned phones also had no records when they were checked after being used by a new employee. One of the reassigned phones had one record.

Thirteen of the phones that were logged as having three or fewer records were each also wiped on separate occasions.

For example, the phone belonging to Weissmann, who has been described as the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, contained no records when it was reviewed on March 28, 2019. Prior to that, Weissmann wiped his phone twice, in March and September 2018, claiming he erased it by accident on one occasion and by entering the wrong password too many times on another.

Members of Mueller’s team offered similar explanations to Weissmann’s for wiping their phones. At least two told the records officer that their phones wiped themselves.

In addition to the 22 wiped iPhones, five phones were improperly handed to the DOJ Office of Chief Information Officer and wiped before the SCO records officer could review them for records, according to the documents.

Mueller took over the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in May 2017. The special counsel operated with Trump in the White House and with the near-certain prospect that each employee’s actions would eventually be reviewed either by the Congress or the DOJ Office of Inspector General (OIG). The OIG was in regular contact with the SCO beginning less than a month after Mueller’s appointment and throughout 2018, documents show.

The IG interviewed SCO staff in 2018 as it searched for Page’s missing iPhone. With the exception of Strzok’s phone, all of the phones that were logged as having no records were reviewed after the IG contacted the SCO about Page’s phone in late January 2018.

Trump, who has repeatedly denounced the Mueller investigation as a hoax, responded to news of the wiped phones on Twitter.

“It has now been determined that the Mueller Scam should never have been set up in the first place, there were no grounds,” the president wrote. “It was all an illegitimate Witch Hunt, & a big price must be paid. How different my life would have been if this fraud on America was never committed!!!”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote letters to the FBI and DOJ requesting more information on the deleted phones. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) asked the IG to open a probe into the matter.

Reprinted with Permission from - Epoch Times by - Ivan Pentchoukov

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Patriot Will
2 months ago

Most fair-minded American citizens are totally disgusted with the double standard when it comes to acting like a good citizen. Democrats are often allowed to destroy records that indicate and prove illegal activity, while people such as Donald Trump are hounded and accused of all sorts of wrong doing without any solid evidence. The Democrats seem to be able to have a “catch me if you can” legal mantra, while President Trump is judged “guilty until proven innocent.”

2 months ago

As long as the main stream media refuses to cover such abuses, the traitors doing them will continue. You cannot change this behavior when the media is a co-conspirator in destroying the Republic and replacing it with a socialist system

2 months ago

All of these persons should be immediately fired for incompetence and they should lose their pensions. If they cannot enter their passwords correctly without wiping their phones, they are also not smart enough to be FBI personnel.

2 months ago

Hummm, something is amiss, me thinks… Just one more example of Liberal Progressive Socialist (Democrat) collusion in the major effort to negate President Trump… More than sick of this crap! TRUMP 2020! MAGA! AG! CTF!

Annie Maus
2 months ago

Before I retired, I worked for the FL Dept of Corrections & performed pre-sentence & post-sentence investigations. Before then, I was a Deputy Sheriff in Colorado, so I do have investigative experience. The fact that both Strzok & Page displayed such open animus against President Trump & that former FBI Director STACKED his Hatchet Squad with Obama & Hillary Clinton supporters & contributors, makes me take their findings with a LOT of suspicion. The fact they admitted, in writing, that General Flynn “did not intend to deceive” the investigators makes me even more contemptuous of this Partisan Inquisitorial Body. Intent… Read more »

David Spade
2 months ago

Just keep on violating rules regulations, and laws….it will never end. These people have no shame or conscious. It is so sad that the American public has to endure this any longer.

Richard Arveaux
2 months ago

Why are the so-called investigators immune from prosecution. Is this another example of “What’s good for me, is not good for you/” Sounds like Nancy Piglosi all over again.

Morty Tupperman
2 months ago

Like Gomer Pyle said, “SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE!!”

Stephen Russell
2 months ago

Cover up
Deep State
& we lose

edgar fletcher
2 months ago

Until those in the deep state who are imbedded at all levels of government are weeded out, fired, and prosecuted, this lawlessness will continue. I’m not giving up on the American people, who have the power to elect honest officials to achieve honesty in government. It’s a daunting task, but America can do it.

Paul W
2 months ago

18 U.S. Code § 1519.Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations and bankruptcyWhoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

2 months ago

None of this shocks me! From Hillary and her email server at her home when she was SOS and now this! This is a pattern for leftist, typical Mafia tactic. How is this country ever going to get past all this corruption if evidence continues to get destroyed and the media doesn’t care?

Josephine pooley
2 months ago

Hmmmm…something is rotten!

Ed J
2 months ago

Criminals most always try to cover their tracks to avoid detection and arrest, and the trials and incarceration that usually follow. Gee, how does this compare to the shenanigans of these miscreants who wiped their phones? The answer is self-evident. Hopefully, this widespread conspiracy and all their other unlawful actions will see the light of day, followed by indictments, trials and incarceration. If Trump wins reelection, indictments will follow. If Trump loses, everything will be swept under the rug and soon forgotten, compliments of the Demsheviks.

John C
2 months ago

Do the crime and do the time! All the layers fully knew their actions were illegal ! Lets indict and go to trial. I want to be on that jury!!!!! I’m as unbiased as them but I say 30 years no probation, that would fully chill anyone thinking of insurrection against a sitting duly elected President and the People. Further would go far in cleaning up the most criminal political party in USA.

Enuf Said
2 months ago

Mule-Er was just a pimp for Obozo and the other clowns that the Democraps constantly used. Either these people are dumb as hell or just plain STUPID– come to think of it– probably BOTH!! Democrap affiliated people have lied so much, that they will NEVER be able to recognize the truth AGAIN!!

2 months ago

Phones “wiped themselves”, “Accidentally wiped”? LMAO

I don’t buy that crap for a second! SMH
I’ve had many cell phones since the 1980’s, and NOT ONCE have ANY of them EVER been wiped of data, intentionally or unintentionally, until I transferred everything over to my new phone and was trading it in to the dealer.

Fred J Noel
2 months ago

Let’s hope the cover up is more damaging and bring indictment, along with indictments for the original crimes that were committed. Did Muller investigate the Clinton campaign or the Clinton Foundation for Russian collusion. No, it wasn’t in his PREVIEW. REALLY! Can’t believe he said it out loud under oath. He was charged to investigate Russian collusion wasn’t he?

Donn Jacquin
2 months ago

Just following the Clinton Protocol…nothing to see here!!

John DeGarmo
2 months ago

And Mueller is too busy to testify. Why? Changing his depends or trying to download directions to the Senate into his GPS or lookin for reservations into the local memory care unit???

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