Secret Service texts from 1/5/21 and 1/6/21 were deleted

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ASPartOfMe
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19 Jul 2022, 5:20 pm

Secret Service says no new Jan. 6 texts found after records were deleted; investigation requested

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The Secret Service was preparing to notify the House Jan. 6 committee that it had found no new text messages related to the Capitol riot, a source said Tuesday afternoon -- the same day the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) sent a letter requesting the agency investigate the deletion of some its records from Jan. 6, 2021, which drew the scrutiny of an internal watchdog.

The Secret Service's plans were confirmed to ABC News by a source familiar with the matter; they were first reported by The Washington Post.

"We received a letter today that did provide us with a lot of documents and some data. However, we did not receive the additional text messages that we were looking for," Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the committee, said on MSNBC later Tuesday.

"They're going to continue to see if there are other ways in which they can secure the required and subpoenaed text messages that we have asked for," Murphy, D-Fla., said.

A Secret Service spokesman last week acknowledged that text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, were deleted after being sought by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General.

The director of communications for the Secret Service, Anthony Guglielmi, subsequently dismissed any "insinuation" the agents had "maliciously" deleted the texts.

While some of the information was lost, Guglielmi said that all of the relevant text messages that the committee and inspector general wanted were available and were being turned over.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, another member of the Jan. 6 committee, said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the panel expected more information about the Secret Service texts by Tuesday.

"We need all of the texts from the fifth and sixth of January. I was shocked to hear that they didn't back up their data before they reset their iPhones. That's crazy, and I don't know why that would be," Lofgren, D-Calif., said then. "But we need to get this information to get the full picture."

n its letter on Tuesday, the NARA wrote that "if it is determined that any text messages have been improperly deleted" -- "regardless of their relevance" to Jan. 6 investigations -- "then the Secret Service must send NARA a report within 30 calendar days of the date of this letter with a report documenting the deletion."

"This report must include a complete description of the records affected, a statement of the exact circumstances surrounding the deletion of messages, a statement of the safeguards established to prevent further loss of documentation, and details of all agency actions taken to salvage, retrieve, or reconstruct the records," NARA wrote.

Guglielmi, the Secret Service's spokesman, said on social media on Tuesday that the agency "respects and supports the important role of the National Archives and Records Administration in ensuring preservation of government records. They will have our full cooperation in this review."


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ASPartOfMe
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21 Jul 2022, 6:12 pm

DHS inspector general tells Secret Service to stop investigating potentially missing texts due to 'ongoing criminal investigation'

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The Department of Homeland Security inspector general has informed the Secret Service it is investigating what happened to January 6-related text messages that may have been deleted, describing it as an "ongoing criminal investigation" and directing the agency to stop its internal investigations into the matter, according to a letter reviewed by CNN.

"This is to notify you that the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General has an ongoing investigation into the facts and circumstances surrounding the collection and preservation of evidence by the United States Secret Service as it relates to the events of January 6, 2021," DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala wrote in a July 20 letter to Secret Service Director James Murray.

The inspector general continued: "To ensure the integrity of our investigation, the USSS must not engage in any further investigative activities regarding the collection and preservation of the evidence referenced above. This includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting devices or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation."

The letter adds to the growing tension between the Secret Service and the DHS inspector general over the potentially missing text messages, which are being sought by the House select committee as part of its investigation into former President Donald Trump's actions and movements on January 6, 2021.

Inspectors general in the federal government can refer the findings of their investigations to federal prosecutors.

The inspector general wrote that the Secret Service should explain what interviews had already been conducted related to the text messages, along with the "scope off the questioning, and what, if any, warnings were given to the witness(es)." The inspector general told the Secret Service to respond by Monday.

The Secret Service, in a statement, acknowledged it had received the inspector general's letter. "We have informed the January 6th Select Committee of the Inspector General's request and will conduct a thorough legal review to ensure we are fully cooperative with all oversight efforts and that they do not conflict with each other," the agency said in the statement.

The new letter comes after the Secret Service was only able to provide a single text message to the inspector general, who had requested a month's worth of records for 24 Secret Service personnel, according to a letter to the select committee.

The DHS inspector general did not respond to a CNN request for comment.
The directive could complicate the Secret Service's response to a subpoena it received from the House select committee last week, as well as a request from the National Archives this week to the DHS records officer asking the agency to clear up if the text messages were deleted and explain why.

The select committee's chairman, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, wrote in a letter to the Secret Service director that the panel was seeking text messages from January 5-6, 2021.

In a joint statement Wednesday, Thompson and committee vice chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney said they "have concerns" about how the Secret Service cell phone data was deleted.
"The procedure for preserving content prior to this purge appears to have been contrary to federal records retention requirements and may represent a possible violation of the Federal Records Act," they said.

The group of 24 individuals includes high-ranking officials, several of whom remained in a secure location, known as a SCIF (secured compartmentalized information facility) during the day where cellphones are not permitted, according to a source familiar with the matter. The source also said about half of the individuals are being reviewed to determine if text messages were sent and received and possibly deleted, and what that content may have been.

Investigators determined that at least three of the people had only personal text messages, which they did not consider a public record, while investigators believe others have no text messages at all, the source said. The agency has produced one relevant text exchange so far, which it has given to the inspector general and the committee. The Secret Service told the inspector general last year that aside from the single text message, the agency "did not have any further records responsive" to the request.

The inspector general has alleged that the Secret Service erased text messages from January 5 and 6, 2021, not long after they had been requested by oversight officials investigating the Secret Service's response to the January 6 attack on the Capitol, according to a letter that the inspector general sent to the House select committee.


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22 Jul 2022, 12:51 pm

trump loyalists criming for him. Toss 'em all in jail. 8)


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23 Jul 2022, 11:11 pm

First on CNN: Secret Service identified potential missing text messages on phones of 10 individuals

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Secret Service investigators were scrutinizing the phones of 10 Secret Service personnel that contained metadata showing text messages were sent and received around January 6, 2021, but were not retained, two sources told CNN.

The scrutiny came after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general asked for the text records last year of 24 individuals at the Secret Service who were involved in January 6, but only one text had been produced. After the issue spilled into public view this month, the inspector general launched a criminal investigation into the matter, and lawmakers demanded answers from the Secret Service to go back and find out what happened to the texts that may have been deleted.

But the Secret Service's internal investigation ground to a halt after a July 20 letter from the DHS inspector general informed the agency there was an ongoing criminal investigation, directing the Secret Service to stop its own probe.
Investigators had been working to determine whether the content of the text messages sent by the 10 personnel contained relevant information that should have been preserved, the sources said. Among the 24 Secret Service personnel under scrutiny, 10 other Secret Service personnel had no text messages, and three had only personal records, according to the sources.

The details of scrutiny of messages from 10 Secret Service personnel caps an extraordinary week of turmoil for the agency, which started with the inspector general demanding answers about potential missing texts and led to a congressional subpoena and a criminal investigation into the matter.

The text messages at issue may have been deleted when the agency conducted a data migration of phones that began January 27, 2021. According to a letter sent from the Secret Service to the House select committee investigating the insurrection, which has also sought messages around January 6 from the Secret Service, the inspector general asked for records from the 24 personnel in June 2021 -- more than two months after the migration had been completed.

A source familiar with the matter told CNN that the heads of the details of both former President Donald Trump and the former Vice President Mike Pence, Robert Engel and Tim Giebels, respectively, are among the 24 personnel whose text messages were requested for review by the inspector general. It's not known whether Engel and Giebels are included in the 10 personnel whose phones contained metadata showing text messages.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
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“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman