- The Secret Service has provided a list of agency-issued phone numbers to the Jan. 6 House committee.
- The unusual move will allow investigators to determine 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 turned over a list of agency-issued cell phone numbers to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, according to reports by ABC and CNN.
The “highly unusual” move to release agents’ numbers will allow investigators to determine which officers’ records they wish to review as part of their investigation, ABC first reported, and could indicate a renewed effort by the agency to cooperate with investigators.
CNN reported 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 oversee and ensure our agency’s continued cooperation, responsiveness, and full support with respect to ongoing Congressional and other inquiries,” CNN reported Murray said in a message to his workforce.
The records are being released after the agency faced criticism that it deleted text messages from agents’ phones that could have possibly been used as evidence in the investigation.
As part of a separate, agency-wide investigation connected to the attack on the Capitol, ABC reported, the inspector general responsible for the Secret Service also obtained a listing of personal cell phone numbers for the agents.
Deleting agents’ text messages may have violated federal record-keeping laws and caused the loss of potentially relevant information regarding the events of Jan. 6
House Oversight Chair Carolyn Maloney and Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson have accused the independent watchdog that oversees the Department of Homeland Security of covering up parts of its investigation into the missing messages.
“We are writing with serious new concerns about your lack of transparency and independence, which appear to be jeopardizing the integrity of a crucial investigation run by 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 cover up the extent of missing records.”
Thompson and Maloney have called for Cuffari to remove himself from oversight of the investigation, saying his delayed disclosure to Congress about the deleted Secret Service records casts “serious doubt on his independence and his ability to effectively conduct such an important investigation.”