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No evidence FBI tried to destroy text messages in Clinton email investigation

An inspector general report examined a gap in messages from the phones of former agent Peter Strzok and ex-agency lawyer Lisa Page.
Image: Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton smiles as she accepts the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 28, 2016.Lucy Nicholson / Reuters file

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department's watchdog has found no evidence the FBI intentionally destroyed text messages of two former FBI officials involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Instead, the inspector general in a report on Thursday faulted an FBI-wide software failure that has resulted in large portions of FBI text messages not being archived.

The report examined a gap in messages from December 2016 through May 2017 from the phones of former FBI agent Peter Strzok and ex-FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The FBI ultimately managed to recover thousands of the messages.

Some congressional Republicans had suggested the messages were intentionally deleted. The inspector general report says there's no evidence Strzok and Page circumvented protocol.

Strzok was removed from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation after anti-Trump texts were discovered. He has since been fired. Page resigned.