Washington — The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol assault expects the Secret Service to hand over text messages that the panel subpoenaed by Tuesday, committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren said Sunday.
The committeelast Friday after the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general told lawmakers that from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021. DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari said the messages were deleted after his office requested them, and the Secret Service claimed some phone data was deleted unintentionally as a part of a pre-planned system migration.
In a statement, a Secret Service spokesman said the agency “confirmed to OIG that none of the texts it was seeking had been lost in the migration.” On ABC’s “This Week,” Lofgren said the committee expects to receive the relevant messages “by Tuesday.”
“Well, you can imagine how shocked we were to get the letter from the inspector general saying that he had been trying to get this information and that they had, in fact, been deleted after he asked for them,” Lofgren said on ABC. “We did get a briefing from the inspector of general of Homeland Security. And then there was a statement made by the spokesperson for the department saying that it wasn’t true, it wasn’t fair, and that they, in fact, had pertinent texts — and we go, fine, if you have them, we need them. And we expect to get them by this Tuesday. So we’ll see.”
The California Democrat said the committee needs “all the texts from the 5th and 6th of January,” and she was “shocked” to hear the Secret Service didn’t back up the data before resetting agency iPhones, calling that “crazy.”
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the committee, said the lawmakers “don’t know” if the Secret Service still has the deleted messages stored somewhere, but said “they need to chase every lead down on this.”
“Either we get that stuff — if we end up getting the texts, then obviously, for whatever reason, the IG didn’t — now you have what you have,” Kinzinger“If we don’t, then it’ll call out the Secret Service as having said that they had these texts, and they don’t. So, you know. Is this anything big? We’re not sure.”
By Lofgren’s timeline, the panel should have the texts in time for its next hearing this Thursday. Kinzinger said the hearing will “open people’s eyes in a big way,” and said the committee will lays out what former President Donald Trump was doing while his supporters stormed the Capitol.
“I can’t necessarily say that the motives behind every piece of information we know we’ll be able to explain, but this is going to open people’s eyes in a big way,” Kinzinger. “I’ll give you this preview, the president didn’t do very much but gleefully watch television during this time frame.”
The panel’s next and possibly final hearing is at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday.