Secret Service Officials Were Told To Save Jan. 6 Texts In Two Emails
The Department of Homeland Security has opened a criminal investigation into the U.S. Secret Service over deleted texts surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.
A new report revealed that multiple emails, and at least one before January 6, were sent to Secret Service employees directing them to save cell phone communications before a planned device-replacement program in which records were lost. The first email was sent by the Secret Service’s Office of Strategic Planning on December 9, 2020. The second one was sent sometime in January, though the exact date is unknown. A third email was sent on February 4, 2021, reiterating the message to preserve records.
The issue came to light last year as the DHS inspector general sought text records from 24 Secret Service members who may have had information about January 6. The criminal investigation was opened on July 20 following a public subpoena a few days prior for text messages issued by the House select committee that has been investigating the events before, during and after the assault on the Capitol.
The Secret Service said they are cooperating with the investigation, but that January 6 was not mentioned in the first two emails. When the inspector general sought the records over a month after the Capitol attack, the records were gone. Among the agents whose cell phone communications are missing are the heads of Former President Donald Trump and then-Vice President Mike Pence‘s heads of details Robert Engel and Tim Giebels.