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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Dr Scott
3 months ago

Prison in their future??? If not, then why not???

GTPatriot
3 months ago

Durham needs to return indictments prior to the election. If the dems win, Durham is toast and all of this corruption will be
forgotten. Hillary and Bill and Obama and Holder will all have monuments in DC by 2030.

GTPatriot
3 months ago

Meuller blew a great reputation when he was suckered into this job by the dems. He was a fool and it ruined him.
He now has no credibility. Similar to Pete Rose. He made a tragic situation worse when he appointed Weisman
as the lead (re Sidney Powell).
This tells me that only in some places are attorneys held to moral standards. We have been taught that
there are many high profile attorney positions occupied by the morally corrupt. Oh well.

Danny Estridge
3 months ago

I don’t know or use iphones for reasons like this. But can anyone tell me why the iphones weren’t locked before they were received? If they were locked, shouldn’t they be able to access information? I’m not a tech guy, but this stinks. You would think whoever handed out the phones would have them locked so you couldn’t delete anything? That way, if all of a sudden a hammer accidently a couple of times hit the phones, at least we could blame the hammer. Also, wouldn’t have been easier to lose the phones in the trash? Seems somebody is BSing somebody. I don’t think I could work in government, it’s not in me to be a crimenal. How do these people sleep? By lying to themselves to think they’re saving a government that’s over 200 years old? Someone, anyone Please explain this to me.
Totally disgusted with these wannabes. I was willing to die for this country in the military, what about these college woosies?

Tim D.
3 months ago

Imagine that!

The OLD Warhorse
3 months ago

Just try to imagine what would happen to you or me if we wiped our phone prior to an IRS audit. Think you would be walking around outside a maximum security prison???

Rick
3 months ago

I just want to see these people in handcuffs and headed for jail. The only reason for doing that is to hide what they had done and it just shows that it was more wide spread than originally thought. Quit talking and make some arrests and put these people away. Me and most of the people reading this would already be in jail, so why are they not???

Scott Berg
3 months ago

I’ve said it from the beginning of all this insanity” every one of them other than looking for a job should all be in jail ‼️

BAE
3 months ago

Liberal progressive creeps really scare me. WHAT does the future hold? They must be held accountable…

Jim
3 months ago

I think that we should release all non-violent criminals into a work release program and make room for those that would cause the most harm to our country and our way of life. God knows we would need a lot of jail cells or better yet dorm with bars. Hopefully the penalty for trying to overturn our government, or complicit in, would be enforced. We also need a constitutional convention to propose term limits. Like we do for the president. People don’t always make the right choices, so this would give them the opportunity to get it right the next time, not in 30 or 40 years.

Kaye
3 months ago

The question I keep asking and never getting an answer is how are all involved not being held accountable? Mueller should be made to pay back all the money he wasted on this witchhunt!! Guilty people need to be dealt with!! So why? Why do they keep getting away with this? Why are there no consequences? And why are these liars and abusers still in office? Why are Republicans raising hell about this? This just makes me crazy!! ?

Todd
3 months ago

Election year and every election vote RED (Remove-Every-Democrat).We the people need to fix this at the polling booth.

Dino Deplorable
3 months ago

This is a dense oc RAT thing,just as most of the covid hype is.The dense oc RATS are going to play this”bull exhaust”out until our AMERICAN President gets elected for another term.But then the slugs will find another reason to turn AMERICA into a third world country.

Ginger Lymbery
3 months ago

They must have called Clinton and asked her permission as she is still walking around a free woman when you and I would still be sitting in a jail cell for destroying evidence….but then again, the laws are made of us and not them. ALL of the people involved in the attempted coup of our government …. Comey, Clapper, Brennan, McCabe, Strutz, Page, Pelosi, Schumer Schift, Nada and everyone else who did ANYTHING to try to over throw the last election needs to be rounded up and indicted and tried for TREASON…

Garye
3 months ago

The sad truth is 50% of the people either don’t care or aren’t smart enough to understand what the slimy anti Americans attempted.
What MUST occur is severe prosecution of these criminals.
It’s the only way Real Citizens will have confidence in these corrupted organizations.
obama, biden and their administration are by FAR the most dishonest, self serving group in history.

‘Nonymous
3 months ago

As much as I’d like to believe the swamp is being drained, I guess I don’t see it happening. This report is one example. Many other examples exist yet the perpetrators go unchecked only to stick it to us again. Fauci is Trumps advisor, but hasn’t been right on anything he’s talked about!

Bill Brown
3 months ago

What is happening today is exactly why OUR Founders wrote and passed the 2nd Amendment!!  Join the Trump Movement – The American Revolution Version 2!!!  Become a Counter-Revolutionary!!!  Stand-up for Our Republic!!!!  Remove Every DemocRat!!!!!

Bill Brown
3 months ago

When the Communist “Reign of Terror” going-on now in DemocRat controlled cities becomes nationwide after a Trump/Pence Victory, we will not be able to avoid defending ourselves and our Country against the rioting and bloodshed!  We must be ready to “Take-up Arms and FIGHT!!”  Join the Trump Movement – The American Revolution Version 2!!!  Become a Counter-Revolutionary!!!  Stand-up for America!!!!  Remove Every DemocRat!!!!!

Bill Brown
3 months ago

You think you have not been brainwashed BUT you think Democracy can be a good thing?!  Understand, OUR Founders went to great lengths to ensure OUR Country would NEVER be a Democracy!!  John Adams: “There has never been a Democracy that did not commit suicide!!”  The term “limited Democracy” did not exist until after 1900, it is “Double Speak”!!  Our Founders greatest fear was the “Tyranny of the Majority”!!  Join the Trump Movement – The American Revolution Version 2!!!  Become a Counter-Revolutionary!!!  Stand-up for Our Republic!!!!  Remove Every DemocRat!!!!!

Pam
3 months ago

Are these criminals ever be brought to justice?? Come on Mr Attorney General, get it done!