Lo and behold, the missing FBI text messages between agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have been found, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote in a letter Thursday, the Washington Examiner reported.
Roughly, 50,000 text messages spanning from Dec. 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017, went missing from the pair's FBI-issued mobile phones that reportedly "failed to capture" them.
Why are the messages important?
The recovered messages are considered a critical part of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
“[F]orensics tools” were successfully used to retrieve the texts, Horowitz said in the letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, (R-Iowa) and Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.), the Examiner reported.
GOP lawmakers contend that those texts contain evidence of political bias against President Donald Trump in the Russian investigation and inside the FBI.
“Our effort to recover any additional text messages is ongoing,” Horowitz said.
The letter noted that copies of the messages will be provided to Justice Department leadership to determine “any management action it deems appropriate.”
Both Strzok and Page were part of Mueller’s team last year. They also worked on the FBI team investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server in 2016.
Mueller removed Strzok from his investigation last summer after the DOJ inspector general learned of the anti-Trump messages exchanged between Strzok and Page.