Sep 14, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Jan. 6 panel's subpoena yields "thousands" of Secret Service records

Rep. Bennie Thompson wearing a gray suit, blue shirt and brown tie, speaks with reporters at the Capitol as some film him on their phones.
Jan. 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The chair of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack said Wednesday that the panel has received "thousands of exhibits" from Secret Service agents in response to its July subpoena of the agency.

Why it matters: Uncovering information from the Secret Service has been a major focus for the panel since testimony during its public hearings in June and July revealed the agency's role in key events on Jan. 6.

Driving the news: Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters that the materials obtained are "a combination of a number of text messages, radio traffic ... thousands of exhibits."

  • Thompson said the the materials consist "primarily" of texts from agents on Jan. 5 and 6, but declined to go into further detail because the committee is still reviewing them.
  • "The tranches we've received have been significant," he said. "It's a work in progress."
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), another committee member, said on MSNBC on Wednesday "it's been a large volume of information that we really pressed hard for the agency to release."

The context: The panel also became engaged in a back-and-forth with the Secret Service this summer over the deletion of agents' texts from Jan. 5 and 6 in what an agency spokesperson said was a "pre-planned, three-month system migration"

  • That culminated in a subpoena requesting "the relevant text messages, as well as any after action reports that have been issued in any and all divisions of the USSS pertaining or relating in any way to the events of January 6, 2021."

The backdrop: The Secret Service came into focus for the committee during its hearings over the summer, in which former Trump administration aides testified that agents were central players in key events on Jan. 6.

What we're watching: Lofgren signaled that the materials received by the committee so far are not exhaustive.

  • "There's texts, there's emails, there's radio traffic, there's all kinds of information. [Microsoft] Teams meetings," she told MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace. "We're going through everything that's been provided. More is coming in."

The other side: Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi told Axios that they "continue to fully cooperate with the January 6 Select committee," but "no additional text messages were recovered."

  • Instead, he said, the agency provided the panel "a significant level of detail from emails, radio transmissions, Microsoft Teams chat messages and exhibits that address aspects of planning, operations and communications surrounding January 6th."

Go deeper: Jan. 6 panel aims to "reconstruct" deleted Secret Service texts

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