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Secret Service agents’ texts were erased after the surveillance was clogged

It seems that texts sent between Secret Service agents on January 5 and January 6 were erased after a review of the Capitol attack. The disclosure letter was sent by the office of inspector general t

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According to a letter from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, texts sent between US Secret Service agents on January 5 and 6 of 2021 were deleted after the agency’s oversight body sought the communications in a review into the Capitol attack (OIG).

The Secret Service’s latest blunder has been revealed in a letter sent to the House and Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs committees on Thursday. The agencies are under increasing scrutiny for their response to the attack.

Donald Trump had planned to declare victory early, according to an audio recording of Steve Bannon.

According to the inspector general, Joseph Cuffari, who appeared to be rebuking the action of erasing the messages, this was only done after the body sought to investigate the agency’s response to the events of January 6th.

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It was only after the OIG requested electronic communications records from USSS that those text messages were destroyed, Cuffari said, emphasizing the order in which those records were destroyed.

He also wrote that the Department of Homeland Security staff told investigators that they were not allowed to directly hand over records, and that they first needed to be vetted by its lawyers.

As Cuffari noted, “this review resulted in weeks of delays for OIG in obtaining documents and confusion as to whether all documents had been produced.”

When the letter’s timing of message destruction was first reported by the Intercept and reviewed by the Guardian, it raised suspicions that Secret Service officials in charge of President Obama’s safety had tampered with records.

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As stated in the letter, the deletion was carried out as part of a “device replacement program”. On Thursday, however, it was not clear why this would necessitate the loss of communications while the agency’s independent oversight body was investigating them.

On Thursday evening, a Secret Service spokesman could not be reached for comment.

According to a statement from Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House Select Committee on Capitol Attacks and also the House Homeland Security Committee, when asked about the disclosure he expressed his dismay.

We’ll do everything we can to figure out how to reconstruct the texts, Thompson said. He also hinted at the possibility of calling in Secret Service agents to testify on the matter and the Capitol attack in general.

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Former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified to the select committee that Donald Trump started an altercation with a Secret Service agent on January 6th, and now this new revelation has only further damaged the Secret Service’s reputation.

To get to the Capitol, despite Trump’s security detail’s protests, Hutchinson testified that the president grabbed hold of the presidential SUV and tried to choke the agent behind the wheel.

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