The Secret Service is facing serious legal action over deleted text messages related to the January 6, 2021 Capitol attack. NBC News Sources say the inspector general of Homeland Security has opened a criminal investigation into the deletion of texts from the days surrounding the riot. The Secret Service has been ordered to end its own internal investigation, according to a copy of a letter sent to the agency by DHS Assistant Inspector General Gladys Ayala.
In a statement, the Secret Service confirmed receipt of Ayala’s letter. It promised a “thorough legal review” to ensure it was “fully cooperative” in all oversight tasks.
News of the deleted texts came last week when the inspector general’s office said intelligence texts dated January 5 and 6 had been deleted as part of an “equipment swap” program. Agents were supposed to back up their messages before migrating, but it’s not clear that this happened. While the Secret Service told the January 6 House Committee that it was “currently unaware” of any lost messages CNN reported, it also confirmed that it is still trying to recover messages. The service has not provided more than a single message thread in response to a House Committee subpoena.
It’s not yet clear if the messages are recoverable, and there’s no known evidence of malicious intent. Regardless of the circumstances, there is a possibility that the Secret Service could face significant charges. House Speakers Liz Cheney and Bennie Thompson warned that the service may have violated the Federal Records Act by not keeping the messages. At the very least, the research underscores the challenges and importance of data retention in modern government – a botched migration could impact critical procedures.
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https://www.engadget.com/investigation-deleted-secret-service-january-6th-messages-170358328.html?src=rss DHS begins criminal investigation over deleted Secret Service texts from January 6th