Secret Service hands agents’ phone numbers to Jan. 6 committee: Sources

The U.S. Secret Service has given the House Jan. 6 committee a list of all private mobile phone numbers belonging to brokers based mostly in Washington, D.C., for the interval the panel is investigating, in line with sources conversant in the matter — an uncommon step amid heightened scrutiny of the company’s cooperation with the congressional panel investigating final yr’s rebellion and the function then-President Donald Trump performed in it.

The committee can now decide which brokers’ name data they could wish to assessment and, in the event that they resolve to take action, might both request data from the brokers straight or conceivably difficulty subpoenas to their mobile phone suppliers, an official conversant in the state of affairs defined.

The Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the company, have confronted criticism in latest weeks for wiping text messages belonging to agents on and round Jan. 6, 2021. Congressional Democrats have accused the Homeland Security inspector basic of abandoning efforts to gather textual content and telephone data from that day.

Seeking and acquiring data from private gadgets from federal staff is a “highly unusual” step by the committee, in line with Don Mihalek, a retired senior Secret Service agent, and will mirror a renewed effort by the company to additional display its cooperation with congressional investigators.

A Secret Service agent stands by after Marine One at Fort McNair in Washington, D.C., July 10, 2022.

Joshua Roberts/Reuters, FILE

The Secret Service has confronted critical criticism in latest weeks as committee testimony centered on Trump’s conduct on Jan. 6, 2021, and what agents assigned to the White House did and saw that day.

At the identical time, Mihalek stated, the company’s choice at hand private machine data over to the committee might current thorny authorized challenges.

“If the agency turned over these private phone numbers, the only appropriate course for that would have been via a subpoena or court order,” stated Mihalek, an ABC News contributor. “Absent that, handing them over could be problematic.”

A spokesperson for the Secret Service just lately acknowledged that some telephone knowledge from January 2021 was misplaced as the results of a pre-planned knowledge switch, noting that the switch was underway when the inspector basic’s workplace made the request in February 2021.

ABC News reported Thursday that DHS is reviewing its electronic retention policies and would halt wiping political appointees’ telephones till the assessment is full.

The Secret Service and representatives of the Jan. 6 committee declined to remark.

ABC News’ Aaron Katersky and Luke Barr contributed reporting.

Source link

Back to top button