The United States Secret Service has reportedly found a slew of data from the deleted text messages from in and around January 6th, 2021.
According to a report from CNN, the metadata for the messages was discovered across the existing devices of 10 different agency personnel. The messages in question were sent and received in and around January 6th, but were not retained according to 2 different sources.
The decision for the agency to scrutinize the devices came after the Department of Homeland Security inspector general requested the text records last year of 24 different individuals within the Secret Service who were also involved in January 6th.
Despite the request and prior scrutiny from the agency, only a single text was produced for the January 6th committee. The text simply read, “I smell a rat.”
The Secret Service claims to have deleted all of the messages sent and received around the major event, saying it was part of routine phone upgrades. According to the report, they deleted the messages during a data migration on January 27, 2021. The agency received a letter on January 16, 2021, from congressional committees to multiple agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis ordering them to preserve the data.
The mass data deletion came under scrutiny since federal officials are supposed to preserve messages for historical purposes.
Once the issue became public, the DHS launched a criminal investigation into the matter, demanding answers from the government security agency as to why they would delete messages that they knew were being investigated.
The Secret Service halted their internal investigation last week when on January 20th the Department of Homeland Security send the agency a letter announcing the criminal investigation and ordering the Secret Service to cease their own.
While the messages themselves may have been lost, investigators are pouring through the metadata of the 10 agency devices to determine whether or not any of the messages from that day contained relevant information and should have been preserved. While there are 24 Secret Service employees being investigated at the time, 10 of those had no text messages that day and 3 others only had personal records.
The January 6th Committee is desperate to recover the messages, believing they could contain information corroborating claims against former President Trump that he attacked an agent in the car who refused to take him to the Capitol. Trump, on the other hand, claims he wants the messages recovered because they would allegedly exonerate him.
Since the messages are likely lost forever, Americans will only be able to speculate as to who is telling the truth. Why do you think the Secret Service deleted these messages despite being ordered not to? What do you think were in them?