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Thomas Gallatin / Sep. 11, 2020

Mueller Team Members 'Accidentally Wiped' Phone Data?

A DOJ report notes that data from 27 phones was erased prior to being turned over.

Newly released Justice Department records indicate that many of the cellphones issued to members of Robert Mueller’s special counsel team got some special treatment. According to reports, “At least 27 cell phones were wiped of data before the DOJ inspector general could review them, some reset to factory settings and some wiped ‘accidentally’ after the wrong password was entered too many times, according to 87 pages of DOJ records regarding the phones issued to members of the special counsel’s office. Including mobile phones that were ‘reassigned,’ the Special Counsel’s office wiped a total of 31 phones.”

It sure looks like members of Mueller’s team, which was composed mostly of Democrats, took a page out of Hillary Clinton’s communications subterfuge playbook on “handling data” and “accidentally wiped” their phones — maybe even with like a cloth or something. But seriously, are we supposed to believe these highly educated professionals are so incompetent that they are, en masse, forgetting passwords and “accidentally wiping” their cellphones?

To quote Joe Biden, “That’s a bunch of malarkey.”

Senate Homeland Security Chair Ron Johnson (R-WI) is calling on DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to open an investigation based on the just-released records about the information purging — records requested in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request. Senator Johnson put it kindly: “These reports are troubling and raise concerns about record retention and transparency.”

Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, added, “It’s an amazing coincidence that all these professional investigators kept accidentally wiping their phones. You’d think these people could come up with a more believable excuse for hiding evidence.”

According to Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA): “It appears that Special Counsel Mueller’s team may have deleted federal records that could be key to better understanding their decision-making process as they pursued their investigation and wrote their report. Indeed, many officials apparently deleted the records after the DOJ inspector general began his inquiry into how the Department mishandled Crossfire Hurricane. Moreover, based on this new information, the number of times and the stated reasons for the deletions calls into question whether or not it was a widespread intentional effort.”

Adding further suspicion of a cover-up were the number of notable members of Team Mueller whose phone data was inexplicably lost. That includes Andrew Weissmann, who was “the lead Mueller prosecutor the New York Times referred to as the special counsel’s ‘pit bull.’ After working under Mueller at the FBI as general counsel, Weissmann led the government’s case against former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.” Weissmann “accidentally” wiped his phone. Twice.

Another noteworthy individual whose phone data was dubiously lost was disgraced FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the infamous and illicit paramour of former FBI agent Peter Strzok, both of whom shared anti-Trump texts, and both were key players in the conspiracy to take Trump down. National Review notes, “The cell phone of FBI lawyer Lisa Page was misplaced by the special counsel’s office. While it was eventually obtained by the DOJ inspector general, by that point the phone had been restored to its factory settings, wiping it of all data.”

“Misplaced.” “Restored to its factory settings.” Gee, what an unexpected turn of events.

The most likely motive behind this almost certainly deliberate destruction of evidence is tied to what happened to Strzok — his anti-Trump bias was exposed via his text messages, and he was removed from the special counsel team. Other counsel members took note and engaged in “accidental” actions to avoid being revealed as the Trump-hating hacks they are. The question is, was their anti-Trump animus the only thing Mueller’s team members sought to hide?

As Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton concludes, “The pandemic of ‘wiped’ phones among the Mueller team requires a criminal investigation of this destruction of evidence and potential obstruction of justice and other crimes. The DOJ and FBI hid these records for nearly two years — which only adds to appearance of a cover-up.”

(Updated.)

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