Justice Department documents reveal cell phones of multiple people on then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team were “wiped” during their Russia probe investigation.
The records show at least several dozen phones were wiped of information because of forgotten passcodes, irreparable screen damage, loss of the device, intentional deletion or other reasons — and came before the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) could review the devices, Fox News reported.
The documents were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch and reveal that Mueller’s pit-bull Andrew Weissman, “accidentally wiped” his phone twice after entering the wrong passcode too many times in March 2018. Lawyer James Quarles’ phone “wiped itself” without his intervention, the records say.
.@JudicialWatch first asked for this info. nearly two years ago and sued a year ago. Only now is this chart released to us…. https://t.co/vFV4QH8uuY
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) September 10, 2020
Responding to the documents which detail the phones being “wiped”, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News’ “Hannity” on Thursday, that it exposes a “pretty obvious” double standard.
“We cannot live in a country where this is tolerated,” the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said. “Trump-Russia, look how much money they spent, how many agents were involved in investigating all things Trump and Russia, how many subpoenas issued, how many lives turned upside down.”
According to the documents, at least several dozen phones were wiped of information because of forgotten passcodes, irreparable screen damage, loss of the device, intentional deletion or other reasons. The data removal took place before the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) could review the devices, as reported by Fox News. Continued Below
“If you can’t manage your own phone, why should we trust you to investigate a crime?” Senator Graham wondered, who later added that “The question is, did they obstruct justice, did they intentionally delete information from their phone because [Inspector General Michael] Horowitz was on the case?”
“That’s the question for [Connecticut U.S. Attorney John] Durham. My job, as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, is to find out how the Department of Justice and the FBI got Crossfire Hurricane so wrong, why they lied to the FISA court, [and] to make sure it never happens again.”
“You think you are mad about the phones being wiped? Stay tuned,” Graham warned. “We’ll talk in about 10 or 12 days, and we’ll see if there is something else you can get mad about.” Video Below
Senator Lindsey Graham’s full remarks:
Meanwhile, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released the following statement on the newly released Special Counsel records from Judicial Watch:
(Related: Supreme Court Hands Trump A ‘Significant Win’ As They Deny Democrats Access To Mueller’s Grand Jury Docs Until At Least 2021)