Secret Service coming up on deadline to turn over elusive Jan. 6 texts

The Secret Service is coming up on a deadline Tuesday morning to hand over text messages from Jan. 5-6, 2021, some of which the agency said it deleted as part of a “device-replacement program.”

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot subpoenaed the Secret Service for “relevant” text messages and any action reports “pertaining or relating in any way to the events” of Jan. 6 on Friday after the agency disputed claims that it had erased the messages before an electronic communications request was made.

“DHS OIG requested electronic communications for the first time on Feb. 26, 2021, after the migration was well under way. The Secret Service notified DHS OIG (Office of Inspector General] of the loss of certain phones’ data, but confirmed to OIG that none of the texts it was seeking had been lost in the migration,” said Anthony Guglielmi, chief of communications for the Secret Service, in an email to the Washington Examiner last Thursday.

It’s not clear whether data that were “lost” on mobile phones when they were reverted to their factory settings as part of a “pre-planned” system migration could be recovered.

The subpoena was issued after Joseph Cuffari, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, the parent agency of the Secret Service, met with the Jan .6 committee behind closed doors on Friday. Cuffari told the panel that it hadn’t received full access to personnel and records. Before going to talk with the committee, Cuffari tried to tell his boss, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, about the lack of cooperation.


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