On Friday (July 15), after reports emerged that the United States Secret Service deleted text messages relating to Jan. 6, the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 issued a subpoena to the agency.
The chairman of the panel, Rep Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), stated in a press release that the committee is seeking the text messages and any “after action” reports relating to the Jan. 6 insurrection.
Thompson also sent a letter to U.S. Secret Service Director James Murray informing him of the subpoena.
The day before the subpoena was issued, Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari sent the Department of Homeland Security committees in the House and Senate a letter stating that texts from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 had been deleted as part of a “device-replacement program.”
The letter reveals that the USSS “erased those text messages after OIG requested records of electronic communications from the USSS, as part of our evaluation of events at the Capitol” on Jan. 6.
Cuffari’s letter also claims that the Office of the Inspector General wouldn’t be able to provide the requested records to Cuffari until they had been reviewed by the agency’s attorneys.
But a spokesperson for the Secret Service said in a statement that text messages related to Jan. 6 were not affected by the device replacement program.
The spokesperson also stressed that the agency was cooperating with the Inspector General and rejected any “insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request.”