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DENIED! Secret Service Refused Agents’ Request For Details on Jan. 6 Info Seized From Their Phones

Mediaite 10/11/2022 Tommy Christopher

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Secret Service agents were rebuffed when they tried to get detailed information on what was seized from their phones as part of an investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol, according to a new report.

Interest in the Secret Service communications reached a fever pitch after the bombshell January 6 hearing testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, whose jaw-dropping revelations included an altercation between Trump and members of his protective detail.

But shortly after that came the news that Secret Service text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021 had been deleted by the agency. Last month, NBC News reported that 24 phones had been confiscated from agents by the Secret Service, and turned over to the investigation being run by Trump-appointed Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari.

NBC News correspondent Julia Ainsley, the same reporter who broke the scoop that the phones were confiscated, now reports that agents tried to get information on the seized phones from the agency — but were denied:

Secret Service agents asked the agency for a record of all of the communications seized from their personal cellphones as part of investigations into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, but were rebuffed, according to a document reviewed by NBC News.

The Secret Service’s office that handles such requests, the Freedom of Information Act Program, denied the request, in which agents invoked the Privacy Act to demand more information about what had been shared from their personal devices.

Ainsley quoted from the response letter to the request, which she obtained:

“This letter is the final response to your Privacy Act inquiry submitted on Aug. 4, 2022, for information pertaining to the release of personal cell phone information and/or other personal identifiable information (PII) by the U.S. Secret Service,” said the letter, dated last Wednesday.

“The agency has determined that regulation does not require a records disclosure accounting to be made in connection with your request,” the letter continued.

In her previous reporting, Ainsley learned that the agents were unhappy with the Secret Service for seizing and turning over the phones.

The post DENIED! Secret Service Refused Agents’ Request For Details on Jan. 6 Info Seized From Their Phones first appeared on Mediaite.
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