Jay Sekulow, one of President Trump’s attorneys in his impeachment trial, brought up texts between former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and ex-agent Peter Strzok in his defense of Trump, insisting “you can’t view this case in a vacuum.” “It just so happens that that FBI agent, lawyer, who committed the fraud on the FISA court became a lawyer for the (Special Counsel Robert) Mueller investigation. Only to be removed because of political animus and bias found by the inspector general,” Sekulow said, referring to Page. “Then, we have a special counsel investigation. Lisa Page, agent Strzok, I’m not going to go into the details. You know them. They’re not in controversy, they’re in controvert. Facts are clear.” Sekulow then claimed that evidence on their phones was “wiped clean” during the inspector general’s investigation.
In reality, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that Page’s texts were not “evidence of bias affecting any investigative decisions” in Mueller’s Russia interference probe and the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. While there was a gap in text messages between Strzok and Page from December 2016 through May 2017, the IG concluded there was no evidence indicating that the messages were intentionally deleted by Mueller or any other DOJ employee. According to the Associated Press, the IG found that the missing Strzok-Page tests were part of a large portion of FBI texts that were not archived due to an FBI-wide software failure.