The Secret Service deleted text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan 6, 2021, that were requested by officials investigating the breach of the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Homeland Security inspector general’s office said in a report this week.
Inspector General Joseph Cuffari said in a letter to the Congressional committees investigating the Jan. 6 incident that “many” messages were “erased as part of a device-replacement program” after his office had requested electronic communications from the Secret Service during their “evaluation of events at the Capitol on Jan. 6.”
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“It’s concerning, obviously,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, House Jan. 6 committee chairman and House Homeland Security Committee chairman, told Axios Thursday. “If there’s a way we can reconstruct the texts or what have you, we will.”
The Secret Service denied the inspector general’s claim, saying some records had been lost during a device migration that happened before the request but all the requested records were delivered.
“The insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false,” Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said.
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