U.S. Secret Service deleted texts sought in Jan. 6 probe, watchdog says

Maria J. Smith

Property Decide on Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack led by Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Overlook., swears in the witnesses through for the duration of the seventh public listening to by the Home Select Committee to investigate the January 6th assault on the US Capitol, in Washington, DC, U.S., July 12, 2022. Doug Mills/Pool through REUTERS

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WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – The U.S. Top secret Support deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021 soon after they had been requested by oversight officials investigating the agency’s reaction to the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, the company watchdog has claimed.

The Solution Assistance disputed that accusation on Thursday, indicating some phone facts was shed in the course of a routine unit migration, but that all of the requested texts experienced been saved.

In a letter to the Residence of Reps and Senate Homeland Safety Committees investigating the gatherings of Jan. 6, the Division of Homeland Stability (DHS) inspector general’s business office (OIG) mentioned “numerous” messages experienced been erased by the Top secret Support with a device-substitute application soon after the watchdog asked for the information.

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It was not clear from the letter what messages the inspector general’s office considered had been deleted or what proof they might contain.

Immediately after the letter was revealed on Thursday, Bennie Thompson, who chairs both equally the congressional panel probing the Capitol attack and the Residence Homeland Protection Committee, told the Axios news web-site the alleged deletion was “relating to.”

“If you can find a way we can reconstruct the texts or what have you, we will,” Thompson said.

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

In a lengthy assertion issued in reaction to the accusations, a Top secret Support spokesman explained the company experienced “completely” cooperated with the inspector general’s business office.

“DHS OIG asked for electronic communications for the initial time on Feb. 26, 2021, immediately after the migration was very well less than way,” spokesman Anthony Guglielmi stated. “The Top secret Company notified DHS OIG of the decline of specific phones’ information, but verified to OIG that none of the texts it was trying to get experienced been shed in the migration.”

Guglielmi mentioned that regardless of the assertions of the inspector general’s workplace, its staff had been granted “correct and well timed entry” to the elements.

The Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol adopted months of bogus claims by Trump that he gained the 2020 election. On Tuesday, lawmakers of the Dwelling panel probing the assault accused Trump of inciting the violence in a previous-ditch bid to remain in electric power immediately after dropping the election. go through additional

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Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Edwina Gibbs

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