The texts from 2016 were exchanged between former agents on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team who expressed disdain for then-candidate Donald Trump.
The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, told the House Judiciary Committee on Friday that his office was not consulted before private text messages that are currently under OIG investigation were shared with members of the media on Tuesday.
Horowitz told the committee – which had asked him in a previous letter whether the DOJ consulted his office before releasing the texts – that he testified in November that the OIG “had no objection to the department providing to Congress pre-existing Department records in its custody in response to a Congressional oversight request.
“I conveyed this position to the Department as well,” Horowitz said.
The DOJ also shared those texts with key members of the House Judiciary Committee ahead of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s testimony the next day.
The texts, which expressed disdain for then-candidate Donald Trump, were obtained as part of an OIG investigation opened earlier this year into how the FBI handled the probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state.