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Jan. 6 panel subpoenas Secret Service for text messages as DHS watchdog accuses agents of deleting them after being asked

A US Secret Service agent outside the White House.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

  • The January 6 commission issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service on Friday.
  • It came after the DHS watchdog accused the agency of deleting text messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, after a request.
  • The commission is now seeking the relevant text messages and action reports from the Secret Service.

The House committee investigating the Capitol riot has issued a subpoena to the US Secret Service after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general accused the agency of deleting text messages after being asked.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chairperson, said in a Friday letter to Secret Service director James Murray that the panel was seeking text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021.

Thompson mentioned three previous requests for information, sent in January, March, and August of last year, pertaining to all communications between DHS officials and then-President Donald Trump about the Capitol riot.

The letter said that the House select committee had been informed that the Secret Service had erased text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, as part of a “device-replacement program.”

The agency said the “pre-planned, three-month system migration” resulted in some lost data, the letter said. However, according to the Secret Service, none of the texts that the DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari sought had been “lost in migration,” Thompson wrote.

The commission is now seeking the relevant text messages and action reports, the letter said.

On Wednesday, Cuffari sent a letter notifying the House Committee on Homeland Security that the Secret Service erased text messages after the watchdog requested records.

Responding to the letter, Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi tweeted that his agency took “strong issue with these categorically false claims.” In a follow-up statement on Thursday night, he called the “insinuation” that the Secret Service had “maliciously deleted” text messages false.

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