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FBI did not collect personal emails of notorious anti-Trump agents. Here's why that matters.
The FBI admits it did not collect personal email communications between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page despite admissions they used personal email for official FBI business. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

FBI did not collect personal emails of notorious anti-Trump agents. Here's why that matters.

The FBI confirmed this week it has not collected personal email correspondence between anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, now-former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, despite the fact the couple referred to using personal accounts to conduct official FBI business.

What are the details?

Charles Thorley, the acting-assistant director of the FBI’s office of congressional affairs, wrote to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this week and informed him the FBI is not "obligated" to collect employees' personal information.

"[T]he FBI has not requested from Ms. Page or Mr. Strzok any information from their personal email accounts, nor has the FBI conducted searches of non-FBI issued communications devices or non-FBI email accounts associated with Mr. Strzok or Ms. Page," Thorley wrote.

He explained that FBI employees are "required to adhere to record keeping policies in place where communications constitute records under the Federal Records Act."

However, Thorley did not elaborate on whether or not the FBI had evidence Strzok and Page violated the FRA given their established communications practices.

Thorley's letter was written in response to a letter Grassley wrote to the FBI in January with numerous questions regarding Strzok and Page.

How did Grassley respond?

However, Grassley, in a counter-response Friday, wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray that he believes many of his original questions remain unanswered.

"[The] response failed to answer the vast majority of questions posed," Grassley wrote.

"The work-related communications on non-government systems could shed more light on how the FBI handled the Clinton investigation and would constitute federal records that the FBI would be obligated to retrieve and preserve under the Federal Records Act," he explained.

Grassley went on to add he believes the Strzok-Page text messages "show substantial reason" to believe the couple used private email for official FBI business. Grassley cited the text messages themselves.

In one instance, Strzok wrote to Page: "Gmailed you two drafts of what I’m thinking of sending Bill, would appreciate your thoughts."

In another, Strzok said: "Sent something to your gmail, work-related."

Grassley said he expects a thorough reply from the FBI by May 18.

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