Report Claims Secret Service Agents Deleted Text Messages From Jan. 6th Just Shortly After They Were Requested By Investigators

Not a good look, guys.

621 points

It looks like the United States Secret Service is in big trouble… Again.

According to a bombshell new report from The Intercept today, “The Secret Service erased text messages from January 5 and January 6, 2021, according to a letter given to the January 6 committee and reviewed by The Intercept. The letter was originally sent by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General to the House and Senate homeland security committees. Though the Secret Service maintains that the text messages were lost as a result of a ‘device-replacement program,’ the letter says the erasure took place shortly after oversight officials requested the agency’s electronic communications.”

During her recent surprise testimony before the House Select Committee, former White House aide to Mark Meadows Cassidy Hutchinson claimed that then-President Donald Trump got into an altercation with Secret Service agents upon learning that he wouldn’t be allowed to go to the Capitol building with his mob of supporters.

“The Department of Homeland Security — Secret Service’s parent agency — is subject to oversight of the DHS Office of Inspector General, which had requested records of electronic communications from the Secret Service between January 5 and 6 of 2021, before being informed that they had been erased. It is unclear from the letter whether all of the messages were deleted, or just some. DHS officials have also pushed back on the OIG’s records request by arguing that the records must first undergo review by DHS attorneys, which has delayed the process and left unclear if the Secret Service records would ever be produced, according to the letter,” the report goes on to reveal.

According to the established timeline, the messages were deleted after an official request had already been made for the messages by investigators.

“A top Secret Service official allegedly involved in the attempt to spirit away Pence on January 6 remains in a leadership position at the agency. Tony Ornato, a Secret Service agent whom Trump made the unprecedented decision to appoint as his deputy White House Chief of Staff, reportedly informed Pence’s national security advisor, Keith Kellogg, on January 6 that agents would relocate the Vice President to Joint Base Andrews,” The Intercept reports. “Today, Ornato serves as Assistant Director at the Secret Service’s Office of Training.”

The reporting has since been confirmed by CNN:

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons/Anthony Quintano, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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