Secret Service says it can’t recover deleted text messages expected by January 6 committee

The January 6 committee expected to receive any deleted text messages from the Secret Service on Tuesday (Picture: AP)

The US Secret Service has reportedly determined that it cannot recover text messages from around the time of the Capitol riot that were deleted.

Any unseen texts that agents sent on January 5 and 6, 2021, were purged, a senior official briefed on the issue told the on Tuesday.

The development came the same day that the House select committee probing the insurrection had expected to receive the apparently deleted texts. The committee subpoenaed the Secret Service on Friday after an agency watchdog notified the Senate and House Homeland Security panels that texts from the two dates had been erased.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general said the Secret Service deleted the texts in a device replacement process. However, the replacement program took place after the inspector requested records for its own evaluation of the riot.

‘The insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false,’ a spokesperson for the agency said at the time.

‘None of the texts (the inspector general) was seeking had been lost in the migration.’

On Tuesday, the National Archives and Records Administration in a to the Department of Homeland Security asked the Secret Service to investigate ‘the potential unauthorized deletion’ of texts.

‘This report must include… a statement of the exact circumstances surrounding the deletion of messages, a statement of the safeguards established to prevent further loss of documentation and details of all agency actions taken to salvage, retrieve, or reconstruct the records,’ wrote the Archives.

Secret Service agents have been reeled into the Capitol riot probe because they planned and shadowed then-President Donald Trump’s moves on January 6.

Texts by agents who interacted with Trump directly or relayed his plans on and leading up to January 6 are not likely to ever be recovered, two people with knowledge on the Secret Service’s communications system told the Post.

The January 6 committee is set to hold its final planned public hearing during prime time on Thursday.

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