The Department of Homeland Security's inspector general has launched a criminal investigation into the destruction of Secret Service text messages sought by the House as part of investigations into the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol attack, USA Today reports. A letter notifying the Secret Service of the probe was sent to Director James Murray. "We have informed the January 6th Select Committee of the Inspector General's request and will conduct a thorough legal review to ensure that we are fully cooperative with all oversight efforts and that they do not conflict with each other," the agency said.
DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari had notified the House and Senate Homeland Security committees that the agency deleted text messages from the day before and the day of the 2021 Capitol attacks after the communications had been requested by the DHS inspector general. "The (DHS) notified us that many U.S. Secret Service...text messages from January 5 and 6 2021 were erased as part of a device replacement program," Cuffari wrote. "The USSS erased those messages after (the inspector general) requested records of electronic communications from USSS, as part of our evaluation of events at the Capitol on January 6." The Secret Service has acknowledged that some of the data was lost before an inspection began when the service began to reset its mobile phones in January 2021, as part of a three-month system migration. The agency maintained that its actions were not malicious.