Recent breaking news about the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) knowingly destroying at least five months’ worth of text message evidence pertaining to an investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia has sent shockwaves throughout Capitol Hill. But if the FBI’s reputation as a credible law enforcement entity is what people are concerned about here, that was actually shattered many years ago – perhaps most notably with the infamous Branch Davidian raid of 1993.
As far as the federal agency’s most recent illicit behavior, reports have been circulating about how a series of text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress suddenly went missing due to alleged “software upgrades” on his phone. Strzok, who had overseen the Trump investigation from its start in July 2016, was removed from Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation after it was discovered by the Justice Department Inspector General that Strzok had been engaging in anti-Trump text conversations.
Almost immediately following this revelation, as many as 50,000 text messages sent and received between Strzok and his mistress were revealed – these not including the unknown number that have gone missing. All of the messages, which were sent or received between December 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, reportedly vanished into thin air, which has since prompted an inquiry into where they went and how they might be retrieved for further analysis.
The Hill notes that what is presumably contained in these elusive text messages could be the final nail in the coffin for the FBI, which has proven over and over again that neutrality, integrity, and honesty simply aren’t part of the agency’s core values. Fox News “Outnumbered” co-host Kevin Jackson has even suggested that the text messages contain evidence that the “deep state” may have been planning an assassination attempted against the president.
In reflecting on Strzok’s past quote about an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump was elected president, Jackson stated during the show:
“Well, I think they’re going to say, what was his intent, right? Because that’s exactly what … former FBI Director [James] Comey said when he was letting Hillary Clinton off the hook. And his intent, regardless of whether it was an assassination attempt or whatever, it was definitely something.”
This would explain why the text messages have since been scrubbed from the mobile phones of those who sent them, which is completely out of protocol for how the FBI is supposed to handle such data. Keep in mind that Strzok’s phone was FBI-issued, meaning whatever he did on there is the property of the FBI.
“Data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval was not collected,” Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, told a Senate committee about the missing text messages.
In one of his first public acts of pursuing justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a recent announcement that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will immediately initiate an investigation into the missing text messages. In a statement, Sessions indicated that the DOJ “will leave no stone unturned,” and that it “will use every technology available to determine whether the missing messages are recoverable from another source.”
“I have spoken to the Inspector General and a review is already underway to ascertain what occurred and to determine if these records can be recovered in any other way,” Sessions added. “If any wrongdoing were to be found to have caused this gap, appropriate legal disciplinary action measures will be taken.”
The scandal is already causing many to reflect on the Waco, Texas incident that took place on April 19, 1993, under the watch of Bill Clinton appointee, Attorney General Janet Reno. The FBI infamously denied any responsibility for the fire that occurred at the Branch Davidian compound on that fateful day, which killed nearly 80 people. But a follow-up investigation revealed this to be false.
Many may not be aware of the fact that, six years after the Waco raid, investigators found pyrotechnic rounds on the premises that the FBI had fired into the building before the incident escalated. Then-Attorney General Janet Reno expressed outraged when this was made public, blaming the FBI for “destroying her credibility.”
Even Newsweek reported the account of a senior FBI official who admitted that “as many as 100 FBI agents and officials may have known about” the FBI’s use of military-style explosive devices during the Waco raid (which the FBI also stockpiled during the more recent “Bundy” raid that took place in Oregon). It has since been revealed that the FBI lied to both Congress and a federal judge in withholding the fact that the agency had also installed six closed-circuit television cameras throughout the compound – evidence that was withheld by the FBI for many years before being impounded by U.S. Marshals.
Time and time again, the FBI has demonstrated that it couldn’t care less about telling the truth, let alone following the letter of the law. And this latest cover-up of deep state text messages is no exception. Let’s just hope that, this time, justice will finally be served.
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