Democrats urge DHS inspector common to disregard Secret Service paperwork

Two top House Democrats allege on Monday that there was evidence of a cover-up in the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general’s investigation into the removal. Message from the United States Secret Service regarding the Capitol riots.

News lead: House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney and House Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson urge Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to step in. letter “stepped aside” and asked his office for documents and interviews, citing emails suggesting his staff may have tried to thwart an attempt by the USSS to obtain the messages.

  • These include deputy inspector general Thomas Kait writing to a DHS official on July 27, 2021, “please use this email as a reference to our conversation where I said we I am no longer requesting phone records and text messages from the USSS regarding the events of January 6,” according to the letter.
  • Thompson and Maloney allege they learned that Kait “removed primary language” from a February memo to DHS intended to “highlight the importance of text messages” to the inspector general’s investigation and criticized the department for not complying with the December 2021 requirement for text messages.

Attention: Thompson and Maloney cited a CNN’s report over the weekend about allegations that Cuffari learned of missing Secret Service messages related to the January 6, 2021 uprising four months after it happened.

Why is it important: The letter highlights tensions between Trump-appointed Cuffari and House Democrats after news of Secret Service text messages went missing between January 5 and January 6, 2021. , appeared last month.

  • The House Select Committee investigating the Capitol riots, of which Thompson also chairs, has since the subpoena Secret Service and Cuffari debuted a criminal investigation into the problem.
  • Headphone tell Politico on Monday that while protocols may have prevented him from responding publicly “to dishonest and misleading statements about our work… I’m proud of the resilience I’ve made… witnessed in the face of this onslaught of pointless criticism.”

What else are they saying: “We write with serious new concerns about your lack of transparency and independence, which appear to be jeopardizing the integrity of a vital investigation run by your office,” Thompson and Maloney wrote in their letter.

  • “The Committees have obtained new evidence that your office may have secretly abandoned an attempt to collect text messages from the Secret Service more than a year ago,” they continued.
  • “These documents also indicate that your office may have taken steps to cover up the extent of the omission of records, raising further concerns about your ability to independently and effectively perform his duties as Inspector General.”

What to see: Thompson and Maloney asked Cuffari to have Kait and Kristen Fredricks, the IG chief of staff, available for transcribed interviews, no later than August 15.

  • A representative for Cuffari did not immediately respond to Axios’ request for comment.

Read the entire letter, via DocumentCloud:

Going deeper: National Archives asks Secret Service to “review” deleted documents

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with more details from the letter and more context.

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