Panel investigating US Capitol attack subpoenas Secret Service over text messages

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The US congressional panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol in Washington said it subpoenaed the Secret Service as it probes a watchdog’s accusations that the agency deleted the text messages sought as evidence.

“The select committee is seeking relevant text messages, as well as all after-action reports that have been released across all USSS divisions regarding or in any way related to the events of January 6, 2021,” the president said. of the committee, Mississippi. Representative Bennie Thompson, said in a written statement

Inspector General Joseph Cuffari met with the House of Representatives panel on Friday after accusing the Secret Service of deleting “numerous” text messages.

“We now need to speak to the Secret Service… We hope to contact them,” Thompson told CNN.

Conflicting accounts about the texts

Committee member Jamie Raskin told reporters on Friday that the panel was determined to recover the text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, which were allegedly deleted.

The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) sent a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday, saying “numerous” messages were erased by the Secret Service with a device replacement program after that the guard dog had requested the recordings.

The Secret Service disputed that charge on Thursday, saying some phone data was lost during a routine device migration, but all requested texts were saved.

“A ‘routine’ cleaning of files will require a process, so we want to see what that process is,” Thompson said Friday.

The letter did not specify which messages the inspector general’s office said had been deleted or what evidence they might contain.

The 2021 attack on the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump followed weeks of false claims by the former president that he had won the 2020 election.

Dramatic testimony from a former assistant

The Jan. 6 committee has shown renewed interest in the Secret Service following dramatic testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who recalled what she heard about Trump’s actions on the day. of the insurgency.

Hutchinson recalled being informed of a confrontation between Trump and his secret service when he angrily demanded to be taken to the Capitol, where his supporters would later breach the building. She also recalled hearing Trump tell security officials to remove the magnetometers for his rally at Ellipse Park even though some of his supporters were armed.

Then U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally to challenge the certification of the 2020 presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington on January 6, 2021. (Jim Borgi/Reuters)

With evidence still emerging, the House Jan. 6 committee has scheduled its next hearing to be Thursday during prime time. The 8 p.m. ET hearing, the eighth in a series that began in early June, will take a closer look at the more than three-hour period when Trump failed to act as a crowd of supporters stormed Capitol.

It will be the first prime-time hearing since June 9, the first on the commission’s findings. This previous audience was seen by 20 million people.

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