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16 Jul, 2022 04:49

Lawmakers subpoena Secret Service for January 6 texts

Democrats probing the Capitol riot have demanded relevant messages from the federal law enforcement body
Lawmakers subpoena Secret Service for January 6 texts

The Congressional panel investigating the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 has subpoenaed the Secret Service for text messages that might shed light on the incident, after a government watchdog suggested the agency may have deleted them maliciously.

In a letter written to Secret Service Director James Murray on Friday, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi) said the House committee had subpoenaed the policing authority to produce a series of text messages originally sent on January 5 and 6. It was given a July 19 deadline to provide the documents to Congress. 

While the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) inspector general previously suggested the Secret Service had erased those messages – and that it did so only after it was explicitly asked to hand them over – the service later said some texts were deleted as part of a pre-planned “system migration,” but that “none of the texts [the inspector general] was seeking had been lost in the migration.”

It remains unclear why the messages have not yet been turned over, however, as the Secret Service now claims to possess them.

In addition to the texts themselves, the House panel is also issuing subpoenas for any relevant “after action reports that have been issued in any and all divisions” of the service.

In comments to the Washington Post on Thursday, Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi insisted that no messages were deleted “maliciously” to avoid complying with an inspector general request, instead saying the agency has been “fully cooperating” with the investigation “in every respect.”