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DHS watchdog asked Secret Service for all Jan. 6 texts, then withdrew request in email

The Department of Homeland Security watchdog agency, which in February 2021 requested all Secret Service text messages sent around Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol Riot, withdrew the request five months later, according to an email obtained by top Democrats on both House committees.

On July 27, 2021, DHS Assistant Inspector General Thomas Kait sent an email telling Jim Crumpacker, a senior DHS official, “Jim, please use this email as a reference to our conversation where I said we are no longer asking for phone and SMS records. of the USSS regarding the events of January 6,” referring to the US Secret Service.

The email was obtained by the House Homeland Security Committee, chaired by Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and the House Oversight Committee, chaired by Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y. They sent a letter to the DHS Inspector General’s Office on Monday referencing the email and noting that in December, five months after she withdrew her request for the Secret Service text messages, Kait requested the text messages again. to the secret service.

Representatives Maloney and Thompson requested communications from the DHS Inspector General regarding the July 2021 email and also asked Kait to make herself available to testify by August 15.

It was not until last July that DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari told Congress that the Secret Service emails from January 6, 2021 were missing.

Secret Service spokespersons said the agency erased the messages as part of a planned migration of phone systems that essentially restored all phones to factory settings.

The Washington Post reported last week that in February 2021, Inspector General Cuffari’s office decided not to collect or examine phones in an attempt to recover missing messages.

The missing text messages have now called into question not only whether the Secret Service took steps to actively obscure the investigation into the January 6, 2021, uprising at the United States Capitol, but also why Cuffari failed to alert Congress. missing text messages earlier. .

The DHS Inspector General’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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