(PresidentialInsider.com)- The Secret Service has come under fire this week after it revealed that text messages that were sent on January 5 and January 6 of 2021 were deleted as part of what they are calling a “device-replacement program” that was already in place before the House’s special committee investigating the events of January 6 subpoenaed them.
The subpoena was sent to the Secret Service, seeking any “relevant” text messages as well as actions reports “pertaining or relating in any way to the events” of January 6. The House committee sent the subpoena last Friday, with a deadline to reply by Tuesday.
The agency, though, said text messages were deleted and lost when a pre-planned “reset” of agents’ phones took place.
In an email sent to the Washington Examiner last week, the agency’s chief of communications, Anthony Guglielmi, said:
“DHS OIG (Office of Inspector General) requested electronic communications for the first time on February 26, 2021, after the migration was well under way. The Secret Service notified DHS OIG that none of the texts it was seeking ha been lost in the migration.”
On Wednesday morning, some members of the House’s investigating committee went public to say they were not thrilled with that response. Representative Jamie Raskin from Maryland, for example, said:
“I smell a rat.”
Guglielmi has called all reports of misconduct as “categorically false.” However, CNN reported on Wednesday that:
“Congress informed the Secret Service it needed to preserve and produce documents related to January 6 on January 16, 2021, and again on January 25, 2021, for four different committees who were investigating what happened, according to the source. The Secret Service migration did not start until January 27, 2021.”
In other words, according to the source CNN cited, the Secret Service was told to preserve the messages before the actual pre-planned migration occurred.
When reports of this came out last week, the House sent a subpoena for those records. The Secret Service turned over only one message in response, though, a committee aide said. That aide also said the committee members were looking into whether they’d somehow be able to obtain the messages still.
In a statement the committee released on Wednesday, members said:
“We have concerns about a system migration that we have been told resulted in the erasure of Secret Service cell phone data.”
A staffer for the committee added that:
“Members are still determining exactly how to get the information we’re seeking.”
The Secret Service became a target of the House committee’s investigation following the bombshell testimony by Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide for the White House. During her testimony, Hutchinson said former President Donald Trump yelled at Secret Service agents in the presidential limo when they refused to take him to the Capitol building on January 6 so he could join his supporters at what eventually became the insurrection.
Some Secret Service agents have denied her account in private, according to media sources, though others have said it has happened. The House committee, apparently, was hoping to glean some information about the event from text messages sent among agents, but they believe some vital messages were erased — potentially on purpose as a cover-up.