The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Inspector General (IG) has begun a criminal investigation into the US Secret Service. It appears that the officers deleted all of their text messages from January 5th and 6th. They turned over just one to the January 6 Select Committee, which begs one’s credulity.
When the House January 6 Select Committee requested the phone records and texts from the Secret Service, they said it appeared that they had all been erased during a switch to different technology. Then, the USSS’s excuses began to fall apart.
First of all, it is a crime to destroy governmental records. Second, the USSS have some of the highest levels of technical security knowledge so they knew better. Third, they received specific instructions on how to preserve their data by more than one governmental entity requesting them, some even prior to January 6th according to NBC News.
The USSS agreed to cooperate with the DHS inspector general as she performed a “thorough legal review.” And indicated that it would “cooperate with all oversight efforts.”
When he was in office Donald Trump reached his dirty fingers into the Secret Service, which has been known as strictly apolitical, take a bullet for any president or vice president. Then, Trump plucked one of the agents out to serve in his administration. That line had never been crossed before then.
Members of the USSS became so beguiled by the ex-president that one of President Joe Biden’s first actions was to change out his Secret Service detail for people he knew and trusted from the time when he was vice-president.
DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala sent a letter to the Director of the Secret Service James Murray Wednesday, ABC News reported. One of the Secret Service officials said that her request could be a problem, because the DHS requested the USSS to halt all internal investigations to maintain the integrity of the investigation.The rub for the Secret Service came into play when the January 6 Committee’s subpoena for texts and the National Archives’ “demand for information about the texts” countermanded one another.
IG Ayala’s letter read:
‘To ensure the integrity of our investigation, the USSS must not engage in any further investigative activities regarding the collection and preservation of the evidence referenced above his includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting devices or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.’
The USSS released a statement that read it was:
‘[I]n receipt of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s letter. We have informed the January 6th Select Committee of the Inspector General’s request and will conduct a thorough legal review to ensure we are fully cooperative with all oversight efforts and that they do not conflict with each other.’
A source indicated that the investigation could easily go to a federal prosecutor, should the results call for that.
The Washington Post’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Investigative Reporter Carol Leonnig has written the book on the Secret Service, Zero Fail, the Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, published by PenguineRandom House. She said that she obtained some text messages for her book that showed a surprising amount of “Goofing Off” and “extramarital activity.”
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