Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote a letter on Thursday for Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
According to Horowitz’s letter, the Office of the Inspector General “has been investigating this matter and, this week, succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices, including text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page.”
Horowitz clarified, “Our effort to recover any additional text messages is ongoing. We will provide copies of the text messages that we recover from these devices to the Department so that the Department’s leadership can take any management action it deems appropriate.”
Initial reports appeared on Wednesday night that the DOJ had begun recovering some of the texts. The missing text messages have been at the center of a swirling controversy after congressional committees were notified by the DOJ that there were missing records from Dec. 14, 2016 to May 17, 2017.
President Trump chimed in on Twitter on Wednesday night:
Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page were the focus of scrutiny in December 2017 after a series of text messages were publicized (which were outside of the missing time period from Dec., 2016 to May, 2017) and revealed their combined antipathy for Trump. Peter Strzok was removed from Robert Mueller’s special counsel in July 2017 after the politically charged texts were uncovered by the DOJ.
Later in a text from August 15, 2016, Strzok tells Page: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office” – an apparent reference to Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe – “that there's no way he gets elected – but I'm afraid we can't take that risk. It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40 . . . ." Page does not appear to have responded, according to records reviewed by CNN.
Washington will wait and see if anything substantial comes from the recovered text messages, or if the lost texts were just a big coincidence. Time will tell.