WASHINGTON (The Hill) — Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said Sunday that deleted Secret Service texts sent the day before and day of the insurrection will be turned over to the panel by Tuesday. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) alleges that messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021 were erased as part of a planned system migration.
“You can imagine how shocked we were to get the letter from the [DHS] Inspector General saying that he had been trying to get this information and that they had, in fact, been deleted after he’d asked for them,” Lofgren told Martha Raddatz on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I was shocked to hear that they didn’t back up their data before they re-set their iPhones,” the congresswoman added. “That’s crazy. I don’t know why that would be.”
The exact relevance of the January 5 and January 6 texts are unknown, Lofgren said. Initially, officials assured the panel that the erasure included no messages related to the January 6 attacks, but another spokesperson said that some messages were pertinent.
“We need all the texts,” Lofgren said, in order “to get the full picture.”
The committee subpoenaed the Secret Service for the deleted messages Friday and will likely receive the documents Tuesday. A Secret Service spokesperson said the agency has turned 800,000 records over to the committee, the Hill reported last week. The texts could factor into the committee’s eighth public hearing when it reconvenes on Thursday.
“We hope to go through minute by minute what happened, what didn’t happen on that day, and people can make their own judgment,” Lofgren said of the panel’s plans.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on Sunday said it would be “quite crazy” if the Secret Service did in fact delete the text messages, adding the circumstances of the missing messages remain to be seen. “We’re going to know more Tuesday,” he told CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan.