Watchdog DHS criticizes ‘onslaught of nugatory criticism’ amid Secret Service paperwork overturned on January 6

In his view, Cuffari did not make it clear which criticism was unworthy. But two hours after he submitted his note, a pair of House committee seats blow out a letter says it obtained evidence that Cuffari’s office “may have secretly abandoned an attempt to collect text messages from the Secret Service over a year ago.”

“These documents raise disturbing new concerns that not only has your office failed to notify Congress for more than a year that key evidence in this investigation has gone missing, but staff your senior has knowingly chose not to pursue that evidence and then appear to have taken steps to cover up these failures,” reads the letter from Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) , who led the January 6 selection panel as well as the Homeland Security committee, and Chief Representative for Oversight Carolyn Maloney (DN.Y.).

Maloney and Thompson also went on to urge Cuffari to stay away from his office’s scrutiny of how the Secret Service handled the January 6 violence.

Cuffari’s email indicates he has no such plans. And his Monday afternoon note, calling on employees to “support each other,” implied that lawmakers were eyeing his office for disappointing its workforce.

“Thank you to everyone who calmed down, moved on and got the job done,” he continued. “I would especially like to thank our Front Office and External Affairs teams, who kept an extraordinary pace working long hours to prepare and coordinate meetings and respond to national inquiries. society and the media.”

The public affairs inspector general’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The office of the independent DHS watchdog, which oversees the Secret Service, went hot earlier this summer after it was reported that documents relating to January 6 by several employees The Secret Service is gone.

The inspector general’s office knew earlier this year about the disappearance of the messages but negligent in speaking to Congressas reported by the Washington Post, and the selection committee January 6 of last month subpoena to the secret service in its growing push to get the message across.

Amid that tension, Cuffari’s Monday message received less sympathy. An official in the DHS inspector general’s office told POLITICO that Cuffari and his immediate staff were “unqualified to lead the Inspector General’s office, and the negative scrutiny of Congress and the media Current information will lead to that.”

“DHS OIG’s critical oversight mission has been compromised,” continued the unnamed official, “and there will be no adjustments as long as Cuffari leads the DHS OIG.”

And Liz Hempowicz, public policy director for the Government-Oversaw Non-Profit Project, told POLITICO that Cuffari’s description of the criticism he has faced is partly stereotypical as she calls for the type to be eliminated. leave him.

POGO, a government monitoring group, obtained a record showing that Cuffari’s team learned in February of this year about the disappearance of two top documents from DHS officials on January 6. . But, The Washington Post reportedCuffari did not speak to Congress about the matter – a potential similarity to the Secret Service’s messaging problem – and did not attempt to locate the officials’ texts.

“There has been a clear pattern, over the last several months, that Cuffari has disrespected his role as inspector general,” she said in a statement. “Every time we report another inexplicable lapse that clearly shows Cuffari is not up to his duties, he gets down on his feet and declares that everything is fine and you just have to believe it. think him. Biden should remove Cuffari as DHS inspector general now. DHS needs a trustworthy watchdog.”

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