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Tags: secret service | texts | jan. 6 probe

Watchdog: Secret Service Deleted Texts Sought in Jan. 6 Probe

protesters gather outside the u.s. capitol on jan. 6
Protesters gather outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP)

Friday, 15 July 2022 08:07 AM EDT

The U.S. Secret Service deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, after they were requested by oversight officials investigating the agency's response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the agency watchdog claims.

The Secret Service disputed that accusation Thursday, saying some phone data was lost in a routine device-replacement program, but that all of the requested texts had been saved.

In a letter to the House of Representatives and Senate Homeland Security Committees investigating the events of Jan. 6, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general's office said "many" messages had been erased by the Secret Service with a device-replacement program after the watchdog asked for the records.

It was not clear from the letter what messages the inspector general's office believed had been deleted or what evidence they might contain.

After the letter was published on Thursday, Bennie Thompson, who chairs the congressional panel probing the Capitol breach and the House Homeland Security Committee, told the Axios news website the alleged deletion was "concerning."

"If there's a way we can reconstruct the texts or what have you, we will," Thompson said.

The DHS did not respond to a request for comment late Thursday.

In a lengthy statement issued in response to the accusations, a Secret Service spokesman said the agency had "fully" cooperated with the office of the inspector general (OIG).

"DHS OIG requested electronic communications for the first time on Feb. 26, 2021, after the migration was well under way," spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said. "The Secret Service notified DHS OIG of the loss of certain phones’ data, but confirmed to OIG that none of the texts it was seeking had been lost in the migration."

Guglielmi said that despite the assertions of the inspector general's office, its employees had been granted "appropriate and timely access" to the materials.

© 2023 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.


US
The U.S. Secret Service deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, after they were requested by oversight officials investigating the agency's response to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the agency watchdog claims.
secret service, texts, jan. 6 probe
305
2022-07-15
Friday, 15 July 2022 08:07 AM
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