Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting more information about missing cellphones that were used by then-special counsel Robert Mueller during his investigation into former President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
In a statement, the senators said they were compelled to send the letter (pdf) after the DOJ failed to review more than 20 phones for record preservation after Grassley in September 2020 asked about a possible violation of federal record-keeping laws, following a Freedom of Information Act revelation showing records on devices used by Mueller’s team had been deleted.
The DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General in September 2020, the senators wrote, told them that several phones belonging to “multiple people on then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team were ‘wiped’ for various reasons during [the Russia investigation].” Meanwhile, on May 11, the inspector general said 59 of 96 phones assigned to Mueller’s team couldn’t be located, according to the senators.
Relating to the phones, the two senators are seeking the names of the special counsel’s office team members whose cellphones weren’t reviewed by officials, if there are any actions being taken to recover the missing phones, and whether the DOJ reviewed the devices to see if “they were used to leak sensitive or classified information,” among other requests.
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