Trump: Mueller Team's Erasure of Data From Phones 'Illegal'

Trump: Mueller Team's Erasure of Data From Phones 'Illegal'
Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on July 24, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber
Ivan Pentchoukov
President Donald Trump charged Saturday that the erasure of data from dozens of phones used by special counsel Robert Mueller's team was illegal.

Trump took to Twitter, his favored social media platform, to comment on the surprising disclosure, which came to light through a Freedom of Information Act request by watchdog Judicial Watch.

"ALERT: So now we find out that the entire Mueller 'hit squad' illegally wiped their phones clean just prior to the investigation of them, all using the same really dumb reason for this 'accident', just like Crooked Hillary smashing her phones with a hammer, & DELETING HER EMAILS!" Trump wrote.

Hillary Clinton used a private server while secretary of state during the Obama administration. Clinton directed her team to delete some 33,000 "personal and private" emails that had not been provided to investigators.

Trump continued, adding: "It has now been determined that the Mueller Scam should never have been set up in the first place, there were no grounds. It was all an illegitimate Witch Hunt, & a big price must be paid. How different my life would have been if this fraud on America was never committed!!!"

Mueller's team was tasked with probing whether Trump or his campaign colluded with Russia. His team found no evidence supporting the allegations, which were promoted widely by a slew of media outlets and lawmakers despite a dearth of evidence.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump return to the White House in Washington on Sept. 11, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump return to the White House in Washington on Sept. 11, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton called for a criminal investigation into what he described as "the pandemic of 'wiped' phones" among Mueller's team.

The Department of Justice and FBI hid the records for nearly two years, adding to the "appearance of a cover-up," he added in a statement.

Former Vice President and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's campaign didn't respond to a request for comment regarding the update on Mueller's team.

Members from Mueller's team didn't return inquiries from The Epoch Times.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.), the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Oversight Committee, asked Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Friday to investigate the erasure of data.

Calling the matter "troubling," Johnson said the new disclosures "raise concerns about record retention and transparency."

Johnson also asked whether Horowitz is already aware of the matter and whether it is possible to retrieve text messages from the phones. He asked the inspector general to respond by Sept. 18.

Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) also demanded more information from the Department of Justice and FBI.

"Based on this new information, the number of times and the stated reasons for the deletions calls into question whether or not it was a widespread intentional effort," he said in a letter to Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray.