Secret Service may have violated law with text deletions, says Jan. 6 committee
The Secret Service may have violated a federal records-keeping law by allegedly deleting agents’ texts while updating their mobile devices, the Jan. 6 select committee said Wednesday.
Why it matters: The messages were from Jan. 5 and 6, and may have contained evidence about key events related to the Capitol attack — the focus of the panel’s hearing on Thursday night.
- The texts could also shed light on reported efforts to remove former Vice President Mike Pence from the Capitol, and former President Trump's alleged attempts to travel to the Capitol to join his supporters on that day.
What they are saying: "We have concerns about a system migration that we have been told resulted in the erasure of Secret Service cell phone data," Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said in a statement.
- "The procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act," Cheney and Thompson added.
The other side: 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.
- "The insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false," Anthony Guglielmi, the chief of communications for the Secret Service, said in a statement.
The Jan. 6 committee said it is seeking additional Secret Service records and that "every effort must be made to retrieve the lost data as well.”
Go deeper... Jan. 6 panel expects to see deleted Secret Service texts by Tuesday