The US House of Representatives committee investigating the January 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol issued a subpoena for records from the US Secret Service on Friday after revelations that the agency allegedly erased text messages.
Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the committee, said the panel was seeking “relevant text messages, as well as any after action reports that have been issued in any and all divisions of the USSS pertaining or relating in any way to the events of January 6, 2021.”
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general sent a letter to lawmakers on Wednesday, saying “many” messages had been erased by the Secret Service after the watchdog agency asked for records.
The Secret Service refuted the accusation on Thursday, saying some phone data was lost during a routine device migration planned before requests for information were made but adding that all of the texts that had been requested were saved.
“A ‘routine’ clearing of files will require a process, so we want to see what that process is,” Thompson said Friday.
Secret Service agents were with then President Donald Trump during the day of the riot and were also with Vice President Mike Pence, who went into hiding at the Capitol after pro-Trump rioters called for him to be hanged.
Panel meets DHS inspector general behind closed doors
The committee investigating the Capitol attack met the DHS inspector general behind closed doors on Friday, American news media outlet CNN reported.
Soon after the closed-door briefing, the committee subpoenaed the Secret Service for records relating to its investigation of the Capitol riot.
The committee had originally officially asked for the records in March for all electronic communication received or sent from DHS employees between January 5 and 7, 2021.
It is not clear the kind of messages the DHS believes were deleted or what evidence they may contain.
On January 6, 2021, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to thwart the certification of Joe Biden’s presidential victory. Though unsuccessful in their attempt, the violence left five dead, including a Capitol police officer. Hundreds of people face prosecution for participating in the riot.
Source : DW