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The Jan. 6 committee wants to reconstruct deleted Secret Service texts from the day of the riot

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/15/2022 tporter@businessinsider.com (Tom Porter)
A file photo of Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House committee investigating the Capitol Riot. Reuters © Reuters A file photo of Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chair of the House committee investigating the Capitol Riot. Reuters
  • The Jan. 6 committee said it plans to reconstruct deleted messages by Secret Service agents.
  • Messages by agents on the day of the riot turned out to have been wiped from devices. 
  • The messages could contain important information about Donald Trump's actions that day.

The House Jan. 6 committee said it would try to reconstruct text messages by Secret Service agents on the day of the Capitol riot that were mysteriously deleted. 

On Thursday, the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security said messages from Secret Service agents on January 5 and January 6, 2021, had been deleted in a "device-replacement program."

The IG's office noted that the messages vanished after it requested records from the Secret Service as part of its investigation into the riot at the US Capitol.

Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson told Axios that it had asked the IG to investigate how the messages were lost.


Video: Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Secret Service over erased text messages (MSNBC)

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Thompson said he wanted to get the texts back if possible, but was not clear on a means to do so.

"It's concerning, obviously," he said. "If there's a way we can reconstruct the texts or what have you, we will."

Asked by Axios if the committee would bring in Secret Service agents to try to reconstruct the texts, he said, "I think it's important for us to get as much information about how this discrepancy occurred."

The messages are potentially important evidence in the committee's inquiry into Jan. 6. where a key focus has been former President Donald Trump's interactions with Secret Service agents on the day of the riot.

Witness Cassidy Hutchinson claimed that Trump clashed with his protection agents after they said they wouldn't take him to the Capitol.

Hutchinson alleged that Trumped lunged at a Secret Service agent in the car with him after his request was turned down. However, some Secret Service agents are reported to be prepared to testify that this did not take place. 

Secret Service spokesperson Anthony Guglielmi said the Secret Service had not "maliciously deleted" the texts, and said it had fully cooperated with the IG investigation.

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