DHS IG accuses Secret Service of deleting Jan. 6-related text messages

As the House committee probing the Jan 6. unrest at the Capitol presses on with its theatrics, reports have emerged that the U.S. Secret Service may have deleted text messages from that fateful day and one day prior, according to Fox News, and the situation is causing great consternation among the Democrat leaders of the panel and their allies in the White House.

The revelation came from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, who explained in a letter to the House committee that “many” messages had been “erased as part of a device-replacement program,” and that the deletions had occurred after his office had made a request for such electronic materials from the Secret Service.

Further, Cuffari indicated that a multi-week delay in collecting the documents at issue ensued due to DHS claims that all records would need to be subjected to a full legal review, something which produced “confusion over whether all records had been produced.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who chairs both the Jan. 6 committee as well as the House Homeland Security Committee, declared the situation “concerning” and added, “[i]f there’s a way we can reconstruct the texts or what have you, we will.”

Interestingly, the Secret Service took issue with Cuffari’s characterization of events, saying that certain of the records at issue were lost amid a device migration process that took place prior to the document request, but even so, all of the records sought were ultimately produced.

Anthony Guglielmi, spokesperson for the Secret Service stated, according to Fox News, “The insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false.”

According to NPR, a subpoena has now been issued to the Secret Service, asking the agency to produce reportedly deleted texts as well as action reports created during the relevant time frame, and the deadline for that information to be turned over to the House committee has been set for this Tuesday.

The report noted that Guglielmi indicated that the agency will “swiftly” provide a response to the subpoena, though it remains uncertain precisely what documentation will be yielded by the committee’s legal demand.

“The January 6th Select Committee has had our full and unwavering cooperation since its inception in March of 2021 and that does not change,” Guglielmi told the outlet, but if the panel suspects that the agency had nefarious motives in withholding or destroying any communications pertaining to the Capitol protests, a whole new line of Democrat-driven congressional inquiry could well be in the offing.