- The Secret Service provided a list of agency-issued phone numbers to the House committee on Jan. 6.
- The unusual move will allow investigators to decide which agents’ records to review, ABC reported.
- The Secret Service has faced criticism for deleting text messages sent during the attack on the Capitol.
The US Secret Service has handed over a list of agency-issued cellphone numbers to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, according to reports from ABC and CNN.
The “highly unusual” move to release agent numbers will allow investigators to decide which officers’ records they want to review as part of the investigation, ABC first reported, and may indicate a renewed effort by the agency to cooperate with investigators.
CNN reported that the current USSS director, James Murray, is delaying his retirement to oversee the agency’s cooperation with investigators.
“I feel strongly about using this time to monitor and ensure our agency’s continued cooperation, responsiveness and full support with respect to ongoing congressional and other inquiries,” CNN’s Murray told CNN in a message to his task force.
The records are being released after the agency was criticized for deleting text messages from agents’ phones that could potentially be used as evidence in the investigation.
As part of a separate, agency-wide investigation related to the attack on the Capitol, ABC reported, the inspector general in charge of the Secret Service also obtained a list of personal cell phone numbers of the agents.
Deletion of agents’ text messages may have violated federal records-keeping laws and caused the loss of potentially relevant information about the events of January 6
House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney and Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson have accused the independent watchdog that oversees the Department of Homeland Security of covering up parts of its investigation into the missing reports.
“We are writing with serious new concerns about your lack of transparency and independence, which appears to jeopardize the integrity of an important investigation for your office,” the lawmakers wrote in an open letter to Trump-appointed DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari. “These documents also indicate that your office may have taken steps to address the extent of the missing records.”
Thompson and Maloney have called on Cuffari to remove himself from overseeing the investigation, saying his delayed disclosure to Congress about the deleted Secret Service documents cast “serious doubt about his independence and his ability to effectively conduct such an important investigation.” “