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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Secret Service for Deleted Texts

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The House committee investigating the US Capitol attack on Friday night removed the Secret Service for text message agents allegedly around Jan. 6, 2021.

Committee chairman Benny Thompson, D-Miss, said in a statement that the committee is seeking “reported text messages, as well as reports following any action taken in any way related to or related to any and all divisions of the USSS.” For the events of January 6, 2021.”

The summons came hours after a nine-member panel received a closed briefing from the watchdog for the Department of Homeland Security. The committee originally sought electronic records in mid-January and made an official request in March for all communications received or sent from DHS staff between January 5 and January 7, 2021.

This is a breaking news update. Below is an earlier story from Associated Press.

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) — The Department of Homeland Security sentinel informed all nine members of the House committee on Friday about the investigation of the U.S. Capitol attack that the Secret Service removed texts from about Jan. 6, according to two people familiar with the matter.

While lawmakers remained silent about what they heard, the closed-door briefing with the inspector general, Joseph Caffari, came two days after his office sent a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Homeland Security committees, saying It was learned that Secret Service agents had erased the messages. Between January 5 and January 6, 2021 “as part of a device-replacement program.” The letter said the deletion was made after the Sentinel Office requested records from agents as part of an investigation into the events surrounding the January 6 attack.

For the January 6 panel, the watchdog’s search raised the alarming prospect of lost evidence that could shed further light on Donald Trump’s actions during the rebellion.

Rep. Benny Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the House January 6 panel, told the Associated Press on Friday that the committee is looking closely at whether the records may have been lost. “There have been some conflicting stances on the matter,” said the Mississippi lawmaker.

The private briefing was confirmed by two people familiar with the matter, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss it.

The Secret Service says proper procedures were followed. Agency spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said, “To say that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following the request is false. In fact, the Secret Service is cooperating fully with OIG in every way – Whether it is interview, document, email or text.

He said the Secret Service began resetting its mobile devices to factory settings in January 2021 “as part of a pre-planned, three-month system migration.” In that process, some data was lost.

“Migration was going well,” said Guglielmi, who first requested electronic communications on February 26.

The Secret Service said it had provided a substantial number of emails and chat messages that contained conversations and details relating to January 6. It also said that text messages requesting assistance from Capitol Police on January 6 were preserved and provided to the Office of the Inspector General.

The Senate Homeland Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Homeland Security and the Secret Service, is also expecting a briefing from the inspector general about the letters, according to a person familiar with the committee’s discussions, who discussed them publicly. was not authorized to do so.

The January 6 committee has renewed interest in the Secret Service after dramatic testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who recalled what it had heard about former President Donald Trump’s actions on the day of the rebellion.

Hutchinson recalled that the confrontation between Trump and his Secret Service detail was told as he angrily sought to go to the Capitol, where his supporters would later tear down the building. He also recalled that Trump told security officials to remove the magnetometer for his rally on the Ellipse, even though some of his supporters were armed.

Some details on that account were quickly disputed by those agents. Robert Engel, the agent who was driving the presidential SUV, and Trump security officer Tony Ornato are set to testify under oath that none of the agents were attacked and that Trump never lunged for the steering wheel, in this case. A person familiar with the news told the Associated Press. That person would not discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

With evidence still emerging, House committee officials on Friday, January 6, have its next hearing scheduled for Thursday in primetime. The 8 p.m. hearing, which is the eighth in a series that began in early June, will take an in-depth look at the more than three-hour stretch when Trump supporters failed to act as a crowd of supporters stormed the Capitol.

This will be the first hearing in prime time since June 9, the first hearing on the committee’s findings. It was viewed by 20 million people.

Associated Press writer Gary Fields contributed.

World Nation News Desk
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