The Department of Justice reportedly sent a letter Thursday to congressional committees, notifying them that the department found the missing text messages exchanged between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
“The [Office of the Inspector General] has been investigating this matter, and, this week, succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices,” the letter read. The messages included those from Strzok and Page and were exchanged between Dec. 14, 2016, and May 17, 2017, according to Fox News and The Hill.
In the letter, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz — who said the DOJ found the texts after taking possession of at least four of Strzok’s and Page’s phones — said he would continue trying to recover lost text messages.
“We will provide copies of the text messages that we recover from these devices to the department so that the department’s leadership can take any management action it deems appropriate,” he said.
News of the discovery came just days after Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would investigate the missing text messages. The FBI reportedly couldn’t store those messages because of a glitch in one of Samsung’s software upgrades.
In a Tuesday tweet, President Donald Trump harped on the messages between Page and Strzok, who allegedly were having an affair and, according to Sessions, exchanged more than 50,000 texts:
Where are the 50,000 important text messages between FBI lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok? Blaming Samsung!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2018
Both Strzok and Page were caught in a flurry of controversy when other revealed texts showed them making disparaging comments about Trump. The texts raised concerns because both Strzok and Page worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
After news of those texts surfaced, the White House denounced the FBI’s “extreme bias.” “There is extreme bias against this president with high-up members of the team there at the FBI who were investigating Hillary Clinton at the time,” deputy White House press secretary Hogan Gidley said.