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Secret Service Still Seeking Any Missing Texts From Jan. 6, 2021

Documents provided by the Secret Service to the Jan. 6 select committee on Tuesday didn’t include any previously undisclosed text messages from Jan. 5 or 6, 2021, reports the Wall Street Journal. The agency said it delivered “an initial set of documents” in response to a subpoena by the committee investigating the attack on the Capitol. The Secret Service said it provided thousands of records but is continuing to search for more, after a government watchdog accused the agency of erasing many texts from those two days. The Secret Service had begun a preplanned effort in January 2021 to reset mobile phones to factory settings. While personnel were instructed at least twice to back up any government-related messages before that change, some of them might not have done so, the agency said.

The select committee received 10,569 pages of documents from the Secret Service. The agency detailed its efforts to adopt a new mobile-device management system, Microsoft Intune, at the end of 2020 and early 2021 and said it was still working to preserve records relevant to the committee’s investigation. The Secret Service said it complied with a request by the Department of Homeland Security inspector general to canvass text messages of 24 employees for material relating to Jan. 6 and had turned up only one text conversation. The Secret Service said it is “further researching whether any relevant text messages sent or received by the 24 identified individuals were lost due to the Intune migration and, if so, whether such texts are recoverable.” On Tuesday, the National Archives and Records Administration asked the Secret Service to investigate whether text messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, were improperly erased. The committee is set to hold a public hearing on Thursday evening, despite an announcement that Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has COVID-19.


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