The January 6 committee subpoenas the secret services for missing documents

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The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol issued a subpoena Friday to the U.S. Secret Service asking for records after a government watchdog accused the agency of deleting texts of January 5 and 6 after his office requested them. .

Panel Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) In a letter conveying the subpoena notice, wrote that the panel was looking for relevant text messages and reports published in any way related attacking the Capitol.

“The select committee has been advised that the USSS has erased the text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021 as part of a “device replacement program.” In a statement released July 14, 2022, the USSS said that it “began resetting its cell phones to factory settings as part of a three-month pre-planned system migration. During this process, data residing on some phones was lost. However, according to this statement from the USSS, “none of the texts [the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General] was looking for had been lost in the migration,” Thompson wrote.

The subpoena is the first the committee has issued to an executive branch agency.

The text messages could provide insight into the agency’s and potentially President Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the uprising. Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told a hearing last month that Trump wanted to lead the crowd from the Ellipse to the Capitol, despite knowing they were armed, and said that he was told by an agent that Trump had physically assaulted the Secret Service agent who informed him that he could not go to the Capitol.

Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said Thursday that the agency did not maliciously delete the text messages at the request of the DHS Inspector General’s Office. The Washington Post previously reported that the Secret Service began a pre-planned replacement of agency-wide staff phones a month before the Office of Inspector General’s request, according to two people briefed on the request. document.

Secret Service erased texts from January 5 and 6, 2021, official says

Joseph Cuffari, the DHS inspector general, briefed committee members on Friday after sending a letter to lawmakers this week notifying them that the text messages had been deleted at the inspector general’s request. The Intercept and CNN led media reporting on the case.

In his letter, Cuffari also alleged that the failure to provide copies of the text messages was part of a pattern of DHS resistance to his demands.

DHS spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa said in a statement responding to Cuffari’s letter that “DHS has assured and will continue to assure that the Office of the DHS Inspector General (OIG) and the Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol have the information they have requested.

Espinosa said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas previously led the Secret Service and the DHS General Counsel’s Office “to ensure that the OIG had appropriate access to the full set of information that he was asking regarding” January 6, 2021.

“The Secretary also directed the Department’s General Counsel to instruct all DHS component agency leaders to respond promptly and thoroughly to any requests from the select committee.” The Advocate General sent a memorandum accordingly.


Washington

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