A member of the United States Secret Service talks on a cell phone as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump attends meetings at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, November 10, 2016.
Saul Loeb | AFP | beautiful pictures
The US Secret Service just delivered a text message string in response summons launched by the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, Capitol riots, according to a letter obtained by NBC News Wednesday.
That development was revealed by the Secret Service in a letter sent Tuesday, the deadline for the agency to hand over a series of documents related to the uprising, when a violent mob of protesters supporters of President Donald Trump at that time poured into the Capitol.
The Secret Service and selection committee did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
The selection committee issued the subpoena after being told that Secret Service documents from January 5 and January 6 of that year had been deleted due to a “device replacement program”. The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, which oversees the Secret Service, briefed the selection panel on the missing documents hours before the subpoena was issued Friday night, news media.
Read more news about the January 6 aftermath
The Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari, formerly told congressional committees that the messages were deleted after his office asked the Secret Service for electronic communications records related to the Capitol riots.
Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi dismissed any suggestion that the agency “maliciously deleted text messages upon request” last week, saying “the Secret Service completely cooperate with OIG in all aspects.” Guglielmi said the Secret Service began resetting its devices in January 2021 as part of a pre-planned “system migration” during which time some data have lost.
The letter sent Tuesday, obtained by NBC, says that the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general “specifically requested text messages sent or received by 24 Secret Service agents between the 7 December 2020 to January 8, 2021.”
Upon receipt of that request, the letter states that the Secret Service identified “a text message conversation from former U.S. Congressional Sheriff Steven Sund to the former Director of the Agency’s Unification Department.” Secret Service Thomas Sullivan requested assistance on January 6, 2021, and announced that the agency did not have any other records to meet. [the inspector general’s] Request a text message. “
Representative Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., one of nine members of the selection committee, said in an interview with MSNBC on Tuesday that the panel “received a text message” from the Secret Service service. That message may not be new, Lofgren said: “It’s clear to me, it’s a text message that may have been collected through another branch of government.”
The Secret Service said it had turned over a total of 10,569 pages of documents by Tuesday’s deadline, NBC reported.
“The Secret Service continues to engage in extensive efforts to further assess whether any relevant text messages were sent or received by 24 individuals identified by [Cuffari’s office] were lost as a result of the Intune migration and, if so, whether those texts are recoverable,” the letter added.
Meanwhile, the National Archives and Records Administration on Tuesday ask the secret service to investigate “possibility of unauthorized deletion” of the texts in question.
The controversy over the text messages comes amid public interest in the Secret Service following public hearings by a select committee on the Capitol riots, where allegations were made. regret the involvement of Secret Service agents in the events of that day.
Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the committee Last month she heard that Trump, after a rally in front of the White House, rammed into a Secret Service agent in a vehicle after being told they wouldn’t drive him to the Capitol.
Trump has denied the allegation, and news outlets reported that unnamed secret service sources disputed her remarks. But agents with knowledge of the alleged incident have yet to challenge Hutchinson’s claims in sworn testimony before the committee.
‘s control panel next public hearing set for 8pm ET Thursday.