Jul 19, 2022 - Politics & Policy

National Archives asks Secret Service to "look into" deleted text messages

Secret Service Agents stand watch as abortion rights protesters gather at the White House to denounce the U.S. Supreme Court decision to end federal abortion rights protections on June 26, 2022.
Secret Service Agents stand outside the White House on June 26. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

The National Archives on Tuesday requested that the U.S. Secret Service investigate "the potential unauthorized deletion" of text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021.

Driving the news: In the letter, the archives asked the Secret Service to "look into" the missing messages and send a report if "it is determined that any text messages have been improperly deleted."

  • "This report must include ... a statement of the exact circumstances surrounding the deletion of messages, a statement of the safeguards established to prevent further loss of documentation and details of all agency actions taken to salvage, retrieve, or reconstruct the records," the archives wrote, noting that the requirement falls under the Federal Records Act.

The big picture: The Jan. 6 select committee subpoenaed the Secret Service for information last week after an agency watchdog notified the Senate and House Homeland Security committees that text messages from Jan. 5 and 6 had been deleted.

  • The Secret Service deleted the message as part of a device-replacement program, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general said earlier this month.

What they're saying: "The United States Secret Services fully respects and supports the important role of the National Archives and Records Administration in ensuring preservation of historical and government records," chief of communications for the Secret Service Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement.

  • "The agency will have our full cooperation in this review and we will complete the internal review of our information as directed and promptly respond to their inquiry," Guglielmi said.

Go deeper... Jan. 6 panel expects to see deleted Secret Service texts by Tuesday

Editor's note: This story has been updated with a statement from chief of communications for the Secret Service Anthony Guglielmi.

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