Another missing-email defense from the bowels of the Deep State

The FBI has told a Senate committee that it "lost" the text messages of top counterintelligence officials attempting to undercut President Trump, conveniently during the five months when their political activity was most fervent.  This calls for its own investigation.

According to TheBlaze:

The Department of Justice made the disclosure in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, according to the Daily Caller.  The letter states that FBI systems didn't preserve text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

"The [d]epartment wants to bring to your attention that the FBI's technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page," the letter states.  Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, penned the letter.

Citing "misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI's collection capabilities," Boyd explained that "data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval [were] not collected."

What's striking here, to pretty much everyone reading this and writing about it, is how similar this "loss" is to previous cases of missing emails, notably in the missing emails of the Internal Revenue Service during the Obama years, which was taking political heat for targeting political dissidents, as well as missing emails claimed by the National Security Agency in another incident.

The grand-daddy of all of these incidents was in the missing State Department emails of then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who was under fire for her pay-to-play foreign policy involving foreign donations for the Clinton Foundation.  That, of course, was an echo of her previously missing billing records involved in the Whitewater scandal.

What it shows is that the Deep State has found a convenient means of getting around pesky congressional investigations, taking its lead from the impunity precedents set by the corrupt dealings of Hillary Rodham Clinton.  If Hillary got away with it, what a surprise that we are now seeing all sorts of federal agencies using the same tactics to get away with it, too.

It's a bad precedent that howls for some kind of reform.  One of these is a new special counsel, as suggested by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, whose Senate committee was the one that didn't get the text messages.

Another area of focus is on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his need to act.  One idea is to fire him, as the commenters on Legal Insurrection's post (an intelligent bunch) suggest.  Another is to watch what Sessions is doing now, which is pressuring the FBI to clean house and remove all of the top-seeded political operatives near the top of the agency's hierarchy, as Axios has reported here.

These ideas have merit, but they don't address the problem root and branch, which is that federal agencies have succeeded repeatedly in avoiding congressional accountability by destroying legally bound preservable emails and text-messages done on government computers.

First, there is a likelihood that the material was destroyed, given its convenient time frame, beginning right about when the Deep State was leaking the Steele dossier to the press and ending right when Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate President Trump, to the very date.

Second of all, there's a likelihood that the material is recoverable, even as the FBI says it is not.  Cloud computing means text messages are stored somewhere, and assorted servers would likely have the material as well.  There's also the NSA, which has powerful surveillance capabilities.  There's also the possibility that the FBI lovebirds, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were carrying on an affair as they sent their anti-Trump texts, sent texts to other people, and those messages could be recovered.

As a caveat, one must remember that these are counterintelligence people, and it's likely that their cell phones had stronger security than other people's phones.  That said, it's astonishing, really, that the FBI somehow doesn't seem to have crack teams to retrieve these memos, given that its crack teams can pretty well break into and retrieve any communications from the computers of porno perverts, terrorists, and other miscreants they routinely bust.

But if they can't investigate themselves, and message erasure is a routine means of evading congressional investigations, perhaps what's needed now is a new government agency dedicated solely to cyber-investigation against unwilling government agencies.

What's at stake here is astonishing.  Did Strzok and Page talk more about their "insurance policy" in their texts?  Were other players involved?  Did the FBI allow Russian agents to write the Steele dossier, and were they fooled by the disinformation because they were blinded by their loathing of Trump?  Did they politick to overthrow Trump?  Was the pretext for the special counsel a made up affair?  Did they try to cover their keisters?  These are questions one might find answers to on those missing texts. 

It's time to find other means of retrieving those missing data.

The FBI has told a Senate committee that it "lost" the text messages of top counterintelligence officials attempting to undercut President Trump, conveniently during the five months when their political activity was most fervent.  This calls for its own investigation.

According to TheBlaze:

The Department of Justice made the disclosure in a letter to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Friday, according to the Daily Caller.  The letter states that FBI systems didn't preserve text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page.

"The [d]epartment wants to bring to your attention that the FBI's technical system for retaining text messages sent and received on FBI mobile devices failed to preserve text messages for Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page," the letter states.  Stephen Boyd, the assistant attorney general for legislative affairs, penned the letter.

Citing "misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades that conflicted with the FBI's collection capabilities," Boyd explained that "data that should have been automatically collected and retained for long-term storage and retrieval [were] not collected."

What's striking here, to pretty much everyone reading this and writing about it, is how similar this "loss" is to previous cases of missing emails, notably in the missing emails of the Internal Revenue Service during the Obama years, which was taking political heat for targeting political dissidents, as well as missing emails claimed by the National Security Agency in another incident.

The grand-daddy of all of these incidents was in the missing State Department emails of then-secretary of state Hillary Clinton, who was under fire for her pay-to-play foreign policy involving foreign donations for the Clinton Foundation.  That, of course, was an echo of her previously missing billing records involved in the Whitewater scandal.

What it shows is that the Deep State has found a convenient means of getting around pesky congressional investigations, taking its lead from the impunity precedents set by the corrupt dealings of Hillary Rodham Clinton.  If Hillary got away with it, what a surprise that we are now seeing all sorts of federal agencies using the same tactics to get away with it, too.

It's a bad precedent that howls for some kind of reform.  One of these is a new special counsel, as suggested by Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, whose Senate committee was the one that didn't get the text messages.

Another area of focus is on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his need to act.  One idea is to fire him, as the commenters on Legal Insurrection's post (an intelligent bunch) suggest.  Another is to watch what Sessions is doing now, which is pressuring the FBI to clean house and remove all of the top-seeded political operatives near the top of the agency's hierarchy, as Axios has reported here.

These ideas have merit, but they don't address the problem root and branch, which is that federal agencies have succeeded repeatedly in avoiding congressional accountability by destroying legally bound preservable emails and text-messages done on government computers.

First, there is a likelihood that the material was destroyed, given its convenient time frame, beginning right about when the Deep State was leaking the Steele dossier to the press and ending right when Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate President Trump, to the very date.

Second of all, there's a likelihood that the material is recoverable, even as the FBI says it is not.  Cloud computing means text messages are stored somewhere, and assorted servers would likely have the material as well.  There's also the NSA, which has powerful surveillance capabilities.  There's also the possibility that the FBI lovebirds, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who were carrying on an affair as they sent their anti-Trump texts, sent texts to other people, and those messages could be recovered.

As a caveat, one must remember that these are counterintelligence people, and it's likely that their cell phones had stronger security than other people's phones.  That said, it's astonishing, really, that the FBI somehow doesn't seem to have crack teams to retrieve these memos, given that its crack teams can pretty well break into and retrieve any communications from the computers of porno perverts, terrorists, and other miscreants they routinely bust.

But if they can't investigate themselves, and message erasure is a routine means of evading congressional investigations, perhaps what's needed now is a new government agency dedicated solely to cyber-investigation against unwilling government agencies.

What's at stake here is astonishing.  Did Strzok and Page talk more about their "insurance policy" in their texts?  Were other players involved?  Did the FBI allow Russian agents to write the Steele dossier, and were they fooled by the disinformation because they were blinded by their loathing of Trump?  Did they politick to overthrow Trump?  Was the pretext for the special counsel a made up affair?  Did they try to cover their keisters?  These are questions one might find answers to on those missing texts. 

It's time to find other means of retrieving those missing data.