Washington, Jul 14 (EFE).- The United States Secret Service (USSS) deleted text messages sent and received the day before and day of the assault on the Capitol building by thousands of supporters of then-president Donald Trump, a government watchdog has said.
A letter dated Wednesday from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) sent to the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees said it had been told the messages sent and received on Jan. 5-6, 2021, were erased “as part of a device-replacement program.”
“The USSS erased those text messages after OIG requested records of electronic communications from the USSS, as part of our evaluation of events at the Capitol on January 6,” the letter from DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari said.
“Second, DHS personnel have repeatedly told OIG inspectors that they were not permitted to provide records directly to OIG and that such records had to first undergo review by DHS attorneys,” Cuffari added.
“This review led to weeks-long delays in OIG obtaining records and created confusion over whether all records had been produced.”
Last week, USSS director James Murray announced that he will leave the agency at the end of the month. Local press revealed that he will take up a role at Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat.
Murray will retire from the body on July 30 after 27 years of service, three of them as a director after he was appointed to the position in May 2019 by Trump.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said at a press conference that Murray’s departure has “been in talks for several months” and that it has nothing to do with the investigations into Jan. 6. EFE