More than two dozen phones belonging to members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team were wiped clean of data before the Justice Department’s inspector general could comb them for records, the DOJ said in records released Thursday.
At least 27 cell phones were wiped of data before the DOJ inspector general could review them, some reset to factory settings and some wiped “accidentally” after the wrong password was entered too many times, according to 87 pages of DOJ records regarding the phones issued to members of the special counsel’s office. Including mobile phones that were “reassigned,” the Special Counsel’s office wiped a total of 31 phones.
A phone belong to assistant special counsel James Quarles “wiped itself without intervention from him,” the DOJ’s records state.
Andrew Weismann, a top prosecutor on Mueller’s team, “accidentally wiped” his cell phone, causing the data to be lost. Other members of the team also accidentally wiped their phones, the DOJ said.