August 15, 2022

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U.S. Secret Service turns over records to Jan. 6 committee, panel wants more

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An image of an email from the U.S. Secret Service intelligence division reporting that people in the crowd on January 6, 2021 were armed with weapons is displayed above the committee during a public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 28, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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WASHINGTON, July 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. Secret Service has turned over a text message conversation from Jan. 6, 2021, to the congressional committee probing the Capitol attack and said it was trying to find out whether other texts may have been lost, according to a letter released by the agency on Wednesday.

The Secret Service said the conversation, between Capitol Police and the Secret Service, had been identified in response to a request by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general for text messages sent or received by 24 Secret Service members between Dec. 7, 2020 and Jan. 8, 2021.

“The Secret Service is further researching whether any relevant text messages sent or received by the 24 identified individuals were lost… and if so, whether such texts are recoverable,” the letter said.

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The Jan. 6 committee subpoenaed the Secret Service on Friday, seeking text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, as it investigated accusations by the inspector general that they had been erased. read more

The inspector general, Joseph Cuffari, met the committee probing the attack behind closed doors on Friday.

The Secret Service said last week that data from some phones had been lost during a system migration that was initiated prior to the inspector general’s request.

The committee’s leaders, Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney, said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the Secret Service had begun providing some records in response to the subpoena.

The committee is seeking additional records relevant to the attack, the statement said, adding that the Secret Service’s apparent failure to follow federal records retention rules could be a violation of federal law.

A Jan. 6 committee aide, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that the committee had received only one text message from the Secret Service.

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Reporting by Eric Beech and Katharine Jackson; editing by Tim Ahmann, Alistair Bell and Rosalba O’Brien

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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