DHS Watchdog Opens Criminal Investigation Into Secret Service For ‘Deleted’ Jan. 6 Text Messages

The Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog has opened a criminal investigation into the destruction of Secret Service phone text messages related to the days around the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The Secret Service was informed of the investigation Wednesday night by the office of the Inspector General of DHS, which said the probe is now criminal and that the agency had been ordered to stop internal investigations into the deleted text messages, NBC reported.

The House select committee investigating the Capitol riot last week issued a subpoena to the Secret Service seeking text messages after learning from the Inspector General that messages from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, had been erased, purportedly as the result of a “device replacement program.”

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On Wednesday, the committee said the Secret Service may have violated federal records-keeping law in deleting the messages. That statement came a day after the Secret Service said it gave just one text message thread in response to the subpoena.



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