President Trump on Wednesday claimed without evidence that former special counsel Robert Mueller “terminated” records of communications between FBI agents who exchanged text messages during the campaign and Mueller’s investigation.
“Mueller terminated them illegally. He terminated all of the emails,” the president said in an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo. “Robert Mueller terminated their text messages together. He terminated them. They’re gone. And that’s illegal. That’s a crime.”
Republicans say the texts show that Peter Strzok, the deputy assistant director of counterintelligence, and Lisa Page, an FBI attorney who was romantically involved with Strzok, were biased against Trump. The president charged in a tweet last year that “19,000 demanded Text messages between Peter Strzok and his FBI lover, Lisa Page, were purposely & illegally deleted,” a claim that was debunked by Politifact.
The messages, which could not be immediately retrieved owing to a glitch in the archiving system, have since been recovered, and some of them were published last year by the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Trump, though, suggested there are more that have yet to be released.
“These are sick people,” he said. “Wait till you see the rest of it.”
Trump’s comments come a day after Mueller agreed to testify before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees on July 17 in an open session.
“I have been attacked for two and a half years with a phony, dishonest, crooked group of people in intelligence agencies and beyond, that have been doing nothing but attacking your president. And I have fought through that and now I hear Mueller’s going to go in yet again. I mean, how many times are we going to go through this?”
“From the day I came into office, they hit me with a phony deal,” he said.
Mueller’s two-year investigation concluded that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election “in sweeping and systemic fashion.” The Mueller report, released in April, found no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, but it identified at least 10 instances of possible obstruction of the investigation into the campaign on the part of Trump or his associates.
The special counsel said that his office did not conclude whether or not Trump committed a crime, saying in a statement that his office could not bring criminal charges against the president because the team believed it to be unconstitutional.
“If we had had confidence that the president had clearly not committed a crime, we would have said so,” said Mueller, adding, “Charging the president with a crime is not an option we could consider.”
Read more from Yahoo News: