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US Secret Service denies Capitol riot charges – Reuters

The US Secret Service has denied deliberately deleting text messages from the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and the day before, insisting on Thursday they were working with the Office of the Inspector General of the Security Department Interior in its ongoing investigation of the day. events.

The Secret Service cooperated fully with the OIG in all respects – be it interviews, documents, emails or text messages“, said the agency’s spokesman, Anthony Guglielmi, saying that the Secret Service had started resetting their cell phones as part of a “appliance replacement programlong before texts concerning January 6 were requested.

While the Secret Service’s decision to erase the texts of January 5 and 6, 2021 was supposedly part of a “three-month pre-planned system migration“, Inspector General Joseph Cuffari noted in a letter to the House Committee on Homeland Security that the messages had been deleted after the OIG had already requested copies.

However, Guglielmi pointed out that OIG did not request copies of the text messages until February 26, well after the “migration” had begun. Even so, the Secret Service claimed that none of the texts sought by the OIG had been “lost in migration“and faulted Department of Homeland Security attorneys for not granting”appropriate and timely access to documents.

Two sources familiar with the matter told the Washington Post that the Secret Service had in fact begun a “long-planned replacement of agency-wide staff phones to improve agency-wide communicationin January 2021, and confirmed that the OIG did not request documents related to January 6 until the following month, by which time up to a third of the agency’s staff had received new phones.

However, the Secret Service insisted that they had provided a “substantialnumber of emails and chat messages related to Jan. 6, including text messages from Capitol Police asking for help on that date.

Although the Secret Service is required under its own policies to safeguard communications when upgrading to new electronic devices, agents often fail to meet these requirements.

The disappearance of critical documents in the midst of a high-profile investigation is also not a new phenomenon for the agency. According to the Post, the boxes of material contain Secret Service memory lapses indicating they had advance warning that organized groups planned to kill John F. Kennedy using high-rise rifles. When the documents were requested, the agency claimed they had been destroyed during a routine disposal of old archives.

The OIG itself has been under investigation since January by the Board of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency for allegations of misconduct, the details of which have not been made public.

Senate security chief on January 6 dies ahead of surprise hearing

Thousands of Trump supporters and election integrity advocates descended on Washington DC on January 6, 2021 to protest what they believe was a stolen election after Democrat Joe Biden claimed to have received the most votes in the history of the United States. President Trump addressed the crowd outside the White House before heading to the Capitol. A group of protesters were able to enter the building while Congress was in session and the resulting chaos left four people dead, including Air Force veteran Ashli ​​Babbitt, who was shot dead by city police. Capitol.

The Special Committee on the January 6 Uprising began holding hearings last July. Its top lawmakers attempted to portray the day’s events as “an attack on american democracyorchestrated by then-President Trump and his allies. Republicans supportive of Trump have pushed back against that narrative, saying the riot was just a peaceful protest that got out of control, possibly due to infiltration by the president’s enemies.

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