Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters, with one wielding a Confederate battle flag that reads “Come and Take It,” during clashes with Capitol police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.
Shannon Stapleton | Reuters
The agency responsible for maintaining federal government records on Tuesday asked the U.S. Secret Service to investigate the “potential unauthorized deletion” of text messages on Secret Service phones on the day before and day of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
The request by the National Archives and Records Administration came nearly a week after the Homeland Security inspector general told two congressional committees that many messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, had been erased by the Secret Service on agency phones “as a part of a device-replacement program.”
Chief Records Officer Laurence Brewer told the Secret Service in an email Tuesday that “if it is determined that any text messages have been improperly deleted … then the Secret Service must send NARA a report within 30 calendar days of the date of this letter with a report documenting the deletion.”
“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,” Brewer wrote.
The select House committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Friday issued a subpoena to the Secret Service demanding text messages and other records related to that day.
The Secret Service did not immediately respond to a request for comment by CNBC.
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