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Secret Service tells House it’s still seeking lost Jan. 6 texts

Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Representative Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., arrived after a break during a House select committee hearing on the Jan. 6 attack.J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press

(Bloomberg) -- The Secret Service has failed so far to provide Congress with any substantial new agency text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, but assures the House committee investigating last year’s Capitol attack it will continue searching for the lost material.

Secret Service Communications Chief Anthony Guglielmi said in a statement Wednesday that thousands of pages of documents, including those on agency mobile phone use and other policies, have been turned over under subpoena to the committee.

Guglielmi previously confirmed texts sought by the committee were inadvertently lost during an equipment upgrade prior to the Inspector General’s request for them.


The agency has been “fully cooperative” with the committee request for those same records, said Guglielmi in his statement, adding it will keep digging and is “taking all feasible steps to identify records, including “forensic examinations of agency phones and other investigative techniques.”

But a committee member, Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California, said during an interview on MSNBC that from what the committee has received from the agency so far, there is only one new text message that she hadn’t already seen.

And she said that one message, in fact, appeared to have been found through “another branch of government.”

“We did receive thousands of documents...but not ones at the heart of the investigation,” another committee member, Democrat Adam Schiff of California, said in a separate interview on MSNBC. “It appears that the agents were left to themselves to determine what to backup.”

Lofgren said that a letter to the committee from the agency gave no indication officials there have even secured the phones in question and “this, obviously, doesn’t look good.”

On Tuesday, the keeper of federal records asked the Secret Service to determine whether any text messages by agents around the time of the attack were improperly deleted. The National Archives and Records Administration said in a letter to the agency that it must submit a report within 30 days documenting what occurred.


“This report must include a complete description of the records affected, a statement of the exact circumstances surrounding the deletion of messages, a statement of the safeguards established to prevent further loss of documentation, and details of all agency actions taken to salvage, retrieve, or reconstruct the records,” the National Archives wrote.

The House committee investigating the efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to overturn the results of the 2020 election has also subpoenaed the agency for the texts.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General notified the committee last week that some text messages sent by Secret Service agents on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 were lost when equipment was updated.

“I don’t want to say they are hiding something,” Representative Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat, said on MSNBC. She said the matter raised serious questions about Secret Service data processes.

“This information is too important to have been handled and misplaced,” she said.