Congress obtains recovered text messages from FBI agents

Text messages sent between two top FBI agents and were previously thought to have been lost due to a phone glitch were turned over to Congress on Thursday.

The messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page — who worked on the investigation into Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCan Republicans handle the aftermath of Donald Trump? Biden seeks to supplant Trump in Georgia Hillary Clinton: 'I would have done a better job' handling coronavirus MORE's use of a private email server and later the probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia — have been the subject of months of back-and-forth between the Justice Department and GOP lawmakers.


Previously reported text messages revealed that the two agents made comments critical of then-candidate Trump, which Republicans have seized on as evidence of anti-Trump bias at the FBI.

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonRepublicans fear backlash over Trump's threatened veto on Confederate names GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday Senate Republicans defend Trump's response on Russian bounties MORE (R-Wis.), who chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, called on the Justice Department to turn over additional information about the two agents in February.

"According to the text messages produced to the Committee, Ms. Page and Mr. Strzok make references to communicating with other FBI employees via text message, phone call, email, and voice mail,” Johnson wrote in February.

“I respectfully request that the Department produce all text messages newly recovered, sent or received by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page for the period December 4, 2016 to May 17, 2017,” he added.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the texts handed over today included all of the text messages Johnson had requested.

CNN first reported the text messages were given to Congress.

Special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE removed Strzok and Page from his ongoing Russia investigation in 2017 after an internal investigation revealed the text messages criticizing Trump during the election. Other messages sent by the two were critical of other political figures, including Democrats.

Johnson is one of a number of GOP lawmakers who have raised the possibility that Strzok and Page's messages reveal a political bias against the president within the top levels of the government.

The FBI further stoked Republicans' ire when the agency announced that about five months' worth of their records of Strzok's and Page's communications were missing due to a glitch that reportedly affected thousands of mobile phones used by the FBI.

-Updated 6:10 p.m.