The veteran Secret Service agent who was handpicked to lead the agency by former President Donald Trump will postpone his retirement and land for a corporate security role while the Department of Homeland Security will investigate whether officers have committed criminal violations of federal record-keeping laws. .
In an internal memo, Secret Service Director James Murray said he would “briefly delay” his retirement, which was announced earlier this month, to “help bridge the gap and foster a smooth and significant for our future director”.
Mr Murray said his decision to stay on rather than hand over his badge on July 31 as planned had been approved by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the White House.
“I strongly believe that I will use this time to oversee and ensure our agency’s continued cooperation, responsiveness, and full support with respect to ongoing congressional and other investigations,” he said in the message. distributed to all Secret Service personnel. “This is critically important and I am especially grateful for the extra time to help move our service forward.”
Murray’s decision to extend his service comes as the DHS Inspector General’s office conducts a criminal investigation into whether special agents on Mr. Trump’s protective details unlawfully deleted sent and received text messages on government-owned phones on January 6, 2021 and just before, the day a mob of Mr. Trump supporters attacked the US Capitol.
Several congressional committees have sent letters to the agency asking them to preserve records from the period of the attack, including text messages. But Secret Service officials said messages from that period sent and received on phones belonging to 10 to 20 Presidential Protective Division agents were lost due to a pre-planned device upgrade program. which coincided with the presidential transition of January 20, 2021.
Yet the fact that so many text messages went missing only became widely known outside the agency after the House Select Committee on January 6 revealed that it had only received one. SMS in response to a subpoena issued to the Secret Service on July 15.
The Secret Service director told employees that the agency, which was created with a mission to fight counterfeiting and has its roots in an executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln shortly before his assassination, faces a “unique and difficult period”.
“Now, as always, our top priorities are the success of our mission, the well-being of our people, and our collective and individual responsibility to serve our country and our fellow citizens in a manner that is always trustworthy,” he said. he declares. .
Mr Murray, a former Secret Service official and former Department of Transport special agent, was due to start a new job at Snap, Inc after his retirement took effect. But a Snap spokesperson said The Independent that the company “supports Jim’s decision to delay his retirement to focus both on cooperation with the ongoing investigation into the January 6 attacks, as well as to help ensure a smooth transition to a new director” .
“We will continue to monitor this situation as this investigation unfolds,” the spokesperson said.
The Independent Gt