Monday, March 27, 2023

Secret Service promises to provide ‘relevant’ texts to panel on January 6, Rep. Zoe Lofgren says

The Secret Service informed the committee Jan. 6 that it will turn over “relevant” texts during last year’s insurgency following reports of mass communications takedowns by the agency, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said Sunday.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General told the January 6 panel last week that the Secret Service informed the office that electronic communications between agents from January 5 to January 6 were deleted as “part of a program.” device replacement.

The texts were removed after the inspector general ordered them to be saved for an investigation into the insurrection, according to the watchdog office, which the Secret Service denied, saying the program change was underway before officials requested the texts. texts.

The January 6 panel issued a subpoena for the texts on Friday.

“You can imagine how surprised we were when we received the letter from the inspector general saying that he had been trying to get this information and that it had, in fact, been removed after he requested it,” Lofgren told host Martha Radditz on ABC. . “This week.”

“And then there was a statement made by the department spokesperson [Secret Service] Saying it wasn’t true, it wasn’t fair, and they actually had relevant texts, so we said, ‘Okay, if you have them, we need them.’”

“We’re hoping to have them by this Tuesday,” said Lofgren, who didn’t sound particularly optimistic about it. “So we’ll see.”

While Lofgren noted that the Secret Service said the “pertinent” texts would be turned over, he told Radditz, “We need all the texts from January 5th and 6th.”

Lofgren said she was “surprised to hear” from the inspector general that the Secret Service “didn’t back up their data before resetting their iPhones. That’s crazy. I don’t know why that would be. But we need to get this information to get the full picture.”

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It is unclear how or if the Secret Service could have recovered the deleted texts, or if the deleted texts will be among the “relevant” communications provided to the January 6 panel. The agency said last week that none of the deleted communications were “relevant” to the investigation.

The panel’s next hearing will be held at 8 pm ET on Thursday. It will focus on the actions of Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, including the 187 minutes in which he took no action to quell the violence that erupted on Capitol Hill.

Asked about an investigation into reports of possible witness tampering by Trump, as well as the possibility that both he and former Vice President Mike Pence could be subpoenaed to testify, Lofgren replied: “Everything is on the table. .. This investigation is largely ongoing.”

She noted, “I think there’s a much larger plot here. I think that’s pretty obvious.”

Lofgren said he “wouldn’t want to tell” Attorney General Merrick Garland “how to conduct his investigations. But I will say this,” he added: “They have subpoena power and they have a much easier way to enforce their subpoenas than Congress. I guess they’re looking at everything. I would wait.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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