Secret Service gave one textual content message thread to Jan. 6 probe in subpoena response


A member of the US Secret Service speaks on a cellphone as US President-elect Donald Trump attends conferences on the US Capitol in Washington, DC, November 10, 2016.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Photos

The U.S. Secret Service handed over only one textual content message thread in response to a subpoena issued by the Home choose committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, in accordance with a letter obtained by NBC Information on Wednesday.

That improvement was revealed by the Secret Service in a letter despatched Tuesday, the deadline for the company at hand over a trove of paperwork associated to the riot, when a violent mob of then-President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol.

The Secret Service and the choose committee didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s requests for remark.

The choose committee issued the subpoena after being knowledgeable that Secret Service texts from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 of that 12 months had been erased because of a “device-replacement program.” The inspector normal for the Division of Homeland Safety, which oversees the Secret Service, briefed the choose panel in regards to the lacking texts hours earlier than the subpoena was issued Friday night time, news outlets reported.

The inspector normal, Joseph Cuffari, had beforehand told congressional committees that the messages had been deleted after his workplace had requested the Secret Service for digital communications data tied to the Capitol riot.

Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi pushed again on any suggestion that the company “maliciously deleted textual content messages following a request,” saying final week that “the Secret Service has been totally cooperating with the OIG in each respect.” Guglielmi mentioned the Secret Service had began to reset its gadgets in January 2021as a part of a preplanned “system migration course of,” throughout which era some knowledge was misplaced.

A senior Secret Service official told NBC News on Wednesday that company workers had been reminded in two separate emails to protect data on their cell gadgets earlier than that alternative course of started.

The letter despatched Tuesday, obtained by NBC, mentioned that Homeland Safety’s inspector normal “particularly requested textual content messages despatched or acquired by 24 Secret Service personnel throughout the interval of December 7, 2020 by means of January 8, 2021.”

After receiving that request, the letter mentioned that the Secret Service recognized “a textual content message dialog from former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund to former Secret Service Uniformed Division Chief Thomas Sullivan requesting help on January 6, 2021 and suggested that the company didn’t have any additional data attentive to [the inspector general’s] request for textual content messages.”

Some other texts despatched by brokers round that point are unlikely to be recoverable, a number of shops have reported.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., one among 9 members of the choose committee, mentioned in an MSNBC interview Tuesday that the panel “obtained one textual content message” from the Secret Service. That message is probably not new, Lofgren mentioned: “It’s clear to me, that may be a textual content message which will have been captured by means of one other department of presidency.”

The Secret Service mentioned it has turned over a complete of 10,569 pages of paperwork by the Tuesday deadline, NBC reported.

“The Secret Service continues to interact in in depth efforts to additional assess whether or not any related textual content messages despatched or acquired by 24 people recognized by [Cuffari’s office] have been misplaced as a result of Intune migration and, in that case, whether or not such texts are recoverable,” the letter added.

In the meantime, the Nationwide Archives and Data Administration on Tuesday asked the Secret Service to investigate the “potential unauthorized deletion” of the texts in query.

The controversy over the textual content messages comes amid heightened public curiosity within the Secret Service following the choose committee’s public hearings on the Capitol riot, which produced bombshell allegations about Secret Service brokers’ involvement within the occasions of that day.

Former White Home aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the committee final month that she had heard that Trump, following a preriot rally close to the White Home, lunged at a Secret Service agent in a car after being advised that they’d not drive him to the Capitol.

Trump denied the allegation, and information shops reported that unnamed Secret Service sources disputed her remarks. However brokers with data of the alleged incident have but to problem Hutchinson’s claims in sworn testimony earlier than the committee.

The panel’s next public hearing is about for 8 p.m. ET Thursday.

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