Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Tuesday that he wants to know why Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein delayed the release of text communications between FBI attorney Lisa Page and FBI Agent Peter Strzok that were critical of President Trump. Referring to the extensive report on the FBI’s handling of its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State, Jordan asked, "If you uncovered it a month ago, why did we not see it until last Thursday?" Speaking to the joint hearing before the House Judiciary and House Oversight and Government Reform committees, Horowitz said, "I can't answer that question. We provided the materials to the department."
Pressing Horowitz, Jordan asked, "But who made the decision? Was it Mr. Wray? Was it Mr. Rosenstein? Was it Mr. Sessions?" referring to the FBI director, deputy attorney general, and attorney general, respectively. "What we have done, as we've found these texts, is send them to the department, and for them to produce it to Congress, and that's what we did in May," Horowitz replied.
"Who at the department dealt with it?" Jordan asked.
"We sent it to the office of the deputy attorney general," Horowitz said.
"Mr. Rosenstein made a decision that instead of us seeing the most explosive text message between these two key agents who were on the Clinton team, the Russia team, and on the special counsel team, he made a decision to wait a month, for us to wait a month to see that text message," Jordan said.
"I can't speak to whether anyone made a conscious decision. I will just say that we, in that fourth recovery we made in May, there was a hundred plus lines of texts to go through, most all of them we've found before. This one was one we hadn't. We didn't see it or pick it up until June," Horowitz said.
"Did you not see it? Or was it hidden from you? Because we have the text message right before it, and the one right after it, but somehow that one, the most explosive one was missing from the pages we got months ago," Jordan said.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 19, 2018
Horowitz’s report featured 2016 text messages from Strzok and Page, in which Strzok told Page they would "stop" Trump from becoming president. Strzok was dismissed from Mueller's probe last year after his text messages emerged. Horowitz also said that he does not believe the DOJ had the text messages initially, and that it was required to go through other channels to obtain them. "You had to jump through all kinds of hoops to retrieve it. The point is when you did get it, Mr. Rosenstein decided we couldn't get it until your report came out. He sat on it for a month of time," Jordan said, in reference to the OIG report. Jordan said, "It's not the first time Mr. Rosenstein has kept us from getting information," Jordan said. "He redacted all kinds of important conversations between Strzok and Page," he continued. "We had to go over to the Justice Department and find it."
Horowitz confirmed on Tuesday that his office is investigating whether Strzok had an impact on the FBI’s decision to undertake its year-long probe into supposed Russian meddling in the 2016 election. When he was asked whether Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages to Page revealed bias, Horowitz answered, “It clearly shows a biased state of mind.” Horowitz told Congressional leaders.