Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley is questioning whether deletions from more than two dozen cell phones used by members of the special counsel’s team were part of a “widespread intentional effort” to scrub data from the devices.
Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, asked Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray in a letter on Friday whether they are investigating if members of the special counsel’s team violated agency procedures or broke any laws regarding the handling of information on their phones.
Justice Department documents released Thursday showed that more than 25 cell phones used by members of the special counsel’s team were wiped clean of text messages and other data. A spreadsheet that tracked all phones used in the special counsel’s probe shows many of their users claimed to have accidentally wiped the phones clean, mostly due to entering incorrect passwords too many times.
Andrew Weissmann, a top prosecutor on the investigation, said he deleted data from his phone on two occasions in 2018, once, he claimed, because he entered his password incorrectly too many times. He said he “accidentally wiped his cell phone” again on Sept. 27, 2018.