Finally, Horowitz’s staff went back to the FBI and did a final search — this was just a few weeks ago, in May — and discovered that the phone itself “had a database on it that was actually also doing a collection of text messages.”
Using that method, on their fourth run through the data, the IG staff discovered the “We’ll stop it” text from Aug. 8, 2016. “It turned out that the FBI wasn’t aware that that database on there, which was supposed to be an operating function, was actually collecting data,” Horowitz said.
But there was something odd about it all. The Strzok “We’ll stop it” text did not come from that period of time, December 2016 to May 2017, when the FBI system was not working. It came from August 2016, when the FBI system was supposedly collecting every message. That was the period of time from which the FBI originally turned over tens of thousands of Strzok-Page texts.
And yet, that one-line message — “We’ll stop it” — was not turned over to the IG, and not turned over to Congress, either.