Top officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general’s office intervened in an effort to recover Secret Service documents that had been deleted from the era. US Capitol Attack and attempt to cover up their actions, two House committees said in a letter Monday.
Taken together, the new revelations seem to suggest that the main watchdog of Secret Service and DHS took deliberate steps to prevent retrieval of documents they knew were missing, and then sought to conceal the fact that they decided not to pursue that evidence.
The inspector general’s office initially sought to retrieve lost documents from across DHS – including Secret Service as well as former DHS secretary Chad Wolf and his deputy, Ken Cuccinelli – as part of an internal review on Jan.
But six weeks after the inspector general’s office first requested communications from the Secret Service from the time of the Capitol attack, that effort was halted by Thomas Kait, the deputy inspector general, for an examination and assessment. price, The House Committee said.
“Use this email as a reference to our conversation, where I said we are no longer requesting phone records and text messages from the USSS regarding the events of January 6th.” Kait wrote in a July 2021 email to a senior DHS liaison official, Jim Crumpacker, that approved by the National Assembly.
House committees also revealed that they were made aware that Kait and other senior officials had manipulated a memo, written on February 4, 2022, that initially criticized DHS for refusing to contract. cooperate with their investigation and emphasize the need to review certain texts.
The House committee said that by the time Kait and other senior officials had completed the memo, mentioning that the deleted documents from the Secret Service or the DHS secretary had been deleted, and the commend the agency for its response to the internal review.
House committees said “most components of DHS failed to provide the requested information” to “we received a timely and consolidated response from each component”.
Apparently acknowledging the removal of harmful findings in the memo, Kait asked colleagues around the time: “Am I setting us up for anything by adding what I did? ? I spoke with Kristen last weekend and she was pleased with the recognition of DAL’s efforts. “
The revelations gave the chair of the House oversight committee, Carolyn Maloney, and the chair of the House Homeland Security committee, Bennie Thompson, who was also the committee chair on January 6, enough to ask officials. Top DHS officials appear for an interview.
In four-page letterThe two House committees again called for the denial of the DHS inspector general, Joseph Cuffari, and requested communications inside the inspector general’s office about not collecting or recovering documents from the agency involved. to the Capitol attack.
Further investigation also revealed that Cuffari’s office was notified in February 2022 that texts from Wolf could not be accessed and that Cuccinelli and Cuccinelli used a personal phone – but never told anyone. Congress.
Kait has a history of removing harmful findings from reports. In a DHS report on domestic violence and sexual misconduct, Kait directed staff to delete a section showing that officers accused of sex crimes were generally charged, New York Times reported.
The controversy over the missing documents erupted a few weeks ago after Cuffari first notified Congress in mid-July that his department was unable to deliver Secret Service documents from the time of the incident. attack on the Capitol because they were removed as part of a device replacement program.
That prompted Thompson, through the House selection committee on January 6, issue a subpoena to the Secret Service to receive messages from the day before and the day of the Capitol attack when the agency examined how the agency planned to move Donald Trump and Mike Pence on January 6.
But the secret service only provide a text exchange to the selection committee, the Guardian previously reported, telling investigators that any other messages were deleted after staff failed to back up data from the devices when they were swapped.