DoJ records show the phones were wiped due to damage, hardware issues, and missing passwords.
Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin on Friday demanded a new investigation from DoJ watchdog Michael Horowitz – who has previously investigated the FBI investigation that ultimately led to Mueller’s appointment as special adviser.
Among the members of the Mueller team mentioned in DoJ documents is Peter Strzok, who was fired for texting critical of Trump. Now a pet peeve for the president and his supporters, Strzok has now written a book in which he calls Trump a threat to national security.
Another member of the Mueller team named in the DoJ documents, Andrew Weissmann, also wrote a memoir.
On Saturday, Trump revisited a favorite campaign theme from 2016, likening the news to “Crooked Hillary smashing her phones with a hammer and DELETING HER EMAILS!”
Aides to Clinton has reported breaking phones used by the former secretary of state, but is not known to have done so herself, with or without a hammer.
Clinton’s use of private email for official business – allegedly replicated by Trump’s wife and daughter – was investigated by the FBI in 2016, to Trump’s political advantage. Clinton was reprimanded by then FBI Director James Comey, but was not charged with wrongdoing.
On Saturday Trump also claimed “that it has now been determined that the Mueller scam should never have been carried out in the first place, there was no reason”.
On the contrary, although Mueller did not find a conspiracy between the president and Russia, he presented extensive evidence of Russian interference and filed 37 indictments and produced seven guilty pleas, including relatives. of Trump, while detailing numerous cases of possible obstruction of justice by Trump himself.
“It was an illegitimate witch hunt,” Trump insisted, “and you have to pay a heavy price.”
Mueller finished his job a year and a half ago, but the Russia investigation is a key political battleground ahead of the November election. Trump’s tweets came before he traveled to Nevada and Arizona for campaign events.
On Friday, a federal prosecutor working on another investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation resigned from the Justice Ministry.
Nora Dannehy was a top prosecutor for Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, who was appointed last year to investigate how the FBI and other agencies investigated Russian interference. Attorney General William Barr’s decision was made public shortly after the release of Mueller’s report. Durham questioned officials, including former CIA director John Brennan.
Trump has indicated he wants results, calling Durham this week a “very, very respected man” who would produce a “report, or maybe it’s a lot more than that.”
DoJ policy disapproves of investigative steps that could affect an election. But Barr said the policy does not apply, since Democratic candidate Joe Biden is not a target.
Durham has filed a criminal charge, against a former FBI lawyer accused of altering an email related to the surveillance of a Trump aide.In other developments related to the Russia investigation, lawyers linked to the case of former national security adviser Michael Flynn made arguments on Friday about how the prosecution should proceed.
Last week, an appeals court ruled that U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan did not have to dismiss the case just because the DoJ wanted him to. The decision opened the door for Sullivan to examine the basis for this unusual request.
Flynn has twice pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian Ambassador.
John Gleeson, a retired federal judge appointed by Sullivan to argue against the department’s position, called the dismissal motion “clearly a corrupt political mission for the president.”