The Secret Service Critical Language Project was informed by attorneys from the Inspector General’s Office, as noted in another document the nonprofit also obtained and shared with reporters. The draft text was also shared with the Inspector General’s Office of External Affairs, which is headed on an interim basis by IG Chief of Staff Joseph Cuffari.
Language that was not included in the final report to Congress included specific details about the resistance the Oversight Office faced in obtaining texts from the Secret Service during “this reporting period”, c i.e. from October 1, 2021 to March 31. During this period. , “The Secret Service resisted OIG oversight activities and continued to significantly delay OIG access to records, impeding progress on the January 6, 2021 review of the OIG,” s’ opens the text project.
The draft wording went on to state that those interviewed by the Secret Service had refused to provide documents directly to the Inspector General’s office, which amounted to “resistance to OIG surveillance activities, for which there is no justification whatsoever.” ‘has been provided’.
The Secret Service also turned over redacted documents to the DHS watchdog, without saying who made the redactions or why, according to the draft text. The Inspector General’s office finally got those documents unredacted, after overcoming obstacles that “regularly resulted in avoidable delays.”
The draft text would also have informed Congress of the missing texts.
“[M]More than 2 months after the OIG renewed its requests for text messages from certain Secret Service employees”, the draft text reads: “The Secret Service has claimed that they are unable to extract the content of text messages due to a mobile phone system migration in April 2021 which erased all data.
“The Secret Service has caused a significant delay by not clearly communicating this highly relevant information at the start of their interactions with the OIG during this reporting period,” the draft text adds. “Furthermore, the Secret Service did not explain why they did not keep the texts before the migration.”
Unlike the text received by Congress, the draft text also explicitly stated that Secret Service resistance to surveillance was ongoing.
“As noted above, during this reporting period, the Secret Service resisted OIG surveillance activities and delayed the results of its review of the events of January 6, 2021,” it concluded.
In the end, the document that went to the Hill contained only two sentences on the subject.
“During the previous reporting period, we included information about the significant Secret Service delay in providing OIG access to Secret Service records, which impeded progress on our January 6, 2021 review,” reads -on in the report received by Congress. “We continue to discuss this matter with the Secret Service.”
The DHS Inspector General’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.
Congressional aides obtained the same documents as the Government Oversight Project, according to two people familiar with the documents.
The Secret Service’s actions on Jan. 6, 2021, are of great interest to the House Select Committee investigating the attack — and the deletion of some text messages agents sent that day, as part of what the agency called a data migration, sparked outrage among its members.
This anger is particularly acute since the Secret Service and its parent department, the Department of Homeland Security, focus on cybersecurity issues.
The delay between when the DHS inspector general learned of the disappearance of the messages and when he told Congress about it also sparked fury. Cuffari pushed back against the criticism in an email last week to staff at the office POLITICO reviewed, saying his team was facing an “onslaught of baseless criticism.”