The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) launched an investigation this Thursday (21) into the disappearance of text messages about the Capitol invasion on January 6 of last year from the files of the US Secret Service. This information was published in the Washington Post newspaper of America.
The move follows a letter sent last week by the US Department of State’s Inspector General, Joseph Gaffari, to a House committee investigating the attack. He Content has been reported as deleted When replacing electronic devices, after being requested by authorities.
The document does not say whether the messages were intentionally deleted or what the contents of the texts were, and who the senders or recipients were.
A lack of information fueled the reaction. Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House committee investigating responsibility for the Capitol invasion, last week called the destruction of the news “disturbing” and called for an investigation. “If there is a way to reconstruct the texts, we will.”
Faced with the fallout, the Department of Homeland Security ordered the Secret Service to drop its investigation into the disappearance of the messages, citing a risk of interference with work carried out by DHS.
“We will conduct a full legal review to ensure that we are fully cooperating with all oversight efforts and that they do not conflict with each other,” Secret Service spokesman Anthony Guglielmi wrote in a statement Thursday.
Thompson had set a deadline of Tuesday (19) to turn over the missing messages to the Secret Service, which did not happen. Lacking answers, agency officials were called to testify before a chamber commission investigating the invasion.
Lawmakers say the material will help clarify the role of public figures and protesters in an episode considered one of the biggest attacks on American democracy in history.
Protesters stormed the Capitol on January 6 last year, minutes after former President Donald Trump urged activists to march on the House of Representatives during a rally in Washington. The move locked the House and Senate into session, ensuring Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 elections.
Members of the Secret Service, the security agency responsible for protecting the president, accompanied Trump and his vice president, Mike Pence, on the date. Last month, a former White House official said as part of a January 6 hearing that he tried to force Republican officials to take him to Capitol Hill to join his supporters.
Former President Trump “recklessly paved the way for anarchy and corruption” during the Capitol invasion, Thompson said at the House committee’s eighth public hearing on Thursday. “[Trump] attempted to destroy our democratic institutions,” the Democrat reaffirmed, adding that those responsible for the attack “must be held accountable to the law.”
Secret Service agents, fearing for their lives, called family members to say goodbye during the attack, the anonymous witness said. “I fear that this will have serious consequences, otherwise our democracy will not be recovered,” Thompson said.
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