After learning of the missing texts, DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari’s office originally planned in February 2021 to contact all Homeland Security agencies, offering data scientists to help retrieve any relevant messages. from their phones, according to government whistleblowers who provided reports to Congress, the Post reported.
But according to three sources who spoke to the Post, Cuffari’s office suddenly decided later that month not to collect phones or review data.
The January 6 House committee is looking for text messages to shed light on Donald Trump’s actions at the time of the attack on the US Capitol. The blockbuster testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, later corroborated by others, exposed a confrontation between the President and his Secret Service detail. Hutchinson said Trump asked to go to the Capitol as the assault began, but Secret Service agents refused to take him.
Cuffari said in a letter earlier this month to the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees that Secret Service text messages from around the time of the attack on the Capitol had been “erased.” He failed to mention that his office learned of this fact months ago.
Phones held by Chad Wolf, former acting DHS secretary, and Ken Cuccinelli, acting deputy secretary, were said to have been “reset” when they left government in January 2021, and the texts were erased.
Cuffari’s office declined to comment to the Post on her story on Friday.
“To preserve the integrity of our work and in accordance with direction from the United States Attorney General, the DHS OIG does not confirm the existence of or comment on ongoing reviews or criminal investigations – nor do we discuss of our communications with Congress,” Cuffari’s office said in a statement. .
Cuffari, a former adviser to Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, has served as inspector general since July 2019, after being appointed by Trump.
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