Friday, September 30, 2022

Secret Service yet to uncover missing Jan. 6 texts for House probe

The U.S. Secret Service has handed over thousands of documents to the House Jan. 6 special committee, but is still working to recover potential missing text exchanges from the day of the 2021 Capitol riot.

The agency said it has been unable to retrieve the missing texts, but continues its search for any lost communications from that day, according to CNN.

“We continue to scrutinize our records, databases, and archives to ensure full compliance with the Committee’s subpoena,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement. “We are taking all feasible steps to identify records responsive to the subpoena, to include forensic examinations of agency phones and other investigative techniques.”

Aside from the texts, the Secret Service said it turned over thousands of pages of other documents, including planning records and agents’ cellphone usage.

The potential texts stem from losses that may have come from a phone migration the Secret Service began on Jan. 27, 2021.

During the transition, Secret Service employees were asked to back up their text messages, and any staffer who did not would have permanently deleted texts once the phones got wiped out during the migration.

Members of the committee expressed dismay at the agency’s decision to issue a phone migration while the riot was under investigation.

“Nobody along the way stopped and thought, well, maybe we shouldn’t do the migration of data and of the devices until we are able to fulfill these four requests from Congress,” said Rep. Stephanie Murphy, Florida Democrat. “The process as explained to us was simply to leave it to the [individual] agent to determine whether or not there was anything on their phones worth saving that was necessary to save for federal records.”

The committee will hold a prime-time hearing on Thursday, focusing on former President Donald Trump’s 187 minutes of inaction during the riot.

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