The disclosure addresses concerns raised in a recent letter to Congress by the inspector general, which accused the agency of not retaining records needed for the Jan. 6 hearing.
Inspector General Joseph Gaffari — who already has access to an initial batch of documents including “millions of disclosures of agency documents, policies, radio communications, emails, summaries and interviews” — requested 24 secret text messages sent and received by Secret in June 2021 on December 7, 2020, and January 8, 2021. , service personnel between 2021, according to the letter, the details of which were not disclosed earlier. 24 employees were not identified in the letter.
“The Secret Service submitted responsive records it identified, including a text message conversation between former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sundt and former Secret Service Uniformed Division chief Thomas Sullivan on January 6, 2021, requesting assistance, and advised the agency that none were available. DHS will respond to the OIG’s request for the text messages. More records,” Assistant Director Ronald Rowe wrote to the committee Jan. 6.
A member of the Select Committee is a representative from the California Democratic Party. Joe Lofgren said in an interview with MSNBC earlier Tuesday that the group had received “a text message” that he had not yet seen, but that the group would continue. More information as a group soon.”
“They don’t give any indication in their letter that they secured the phones in question and did some forensic work with them. That’s what we want to know,” Lofgren said. “It’s obviously not good. Coincidences can happen but we really need to get to the bottom of this and get more information than we have right now.”
The company explained that it is up to employees to maintain the necessary security of recordings from their phones. The letter said the service provided staff with a “step-by-step” guide to securing mobile phone content, including text messages, ahead of the phone migration that began on January 27. It explained that “all Secret Service personnel are responsible.” To properly protect government records generated by text messaging.”
The Secret Service wrote in the letter that it was still working to determine whether any relevant information was lost in the phone migration, but said it was “not currently aware of the text messages provided by Secret Service employees” requested by the inspector general. Not retained.”
“The Secret Service continues to engage in extensive efforts to further assess whether any relevant text messages sent or received by the 24 individuals identified by the DHS OIG were lost as a result of the Intune migration and, if so, whether such texts can be recovered,” Rowe wrote. . “These efforts include pulling available metadata to determine if any texts were sent or received on identified individuals’ devices.”
The agency is interviewing 24 users “to determine whether messages are stored in locations not already searched by the Secret Service.”
The letter said the Secret Service provided 10,569 pages of documents in an initial response to a congressional subpoena last week. That preparation includes after-action reports, deadlines and policy changes in response to January 6. The agency also sent the committee details of what it characterized as an “unusual security event” for the transfer of then-Vice President Mike Pence during the riots.
In a rush to respond to last week’s requests, the letter notes, the Secret Service sent the material without changes and the group was asked to consult with the agency before releasing any information to the public.
This story has been updated with additional details.
CNN’s Mary Kay Malloney contributed to this report.