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National Security Service halted plan to recover Secret Service texts

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branch of Homeland Security’s top watchdog has declined to investigate the team’s efforts to collect agency phones to try to recover deleted Secret Service messages. year by four people with knowledge of in decision and internal records verified by The Washington Post.

In early February, upon learning that Secret Service text messages had been erased as part of of migration to new devices, staff at Inspector General Joseph W. Cuffari office plans to reach out to all DHS agencies offering data scientists help receive messages from their phones, according to two government whistleblowers who presented reports to Congress.

But later that month Kuffari office decided that he would not collect or review any phone numbers of the agency, according to three people instructed on in decision.

latest revelation comes when Democratic lawmakers accused Kuffari of office of failure to aggressively investigate agency actions in response to violence attack on Capitol supporters of then President Donald Trump on January 6, 2021

This month, Caffari wrote a letter to the House and Senate homeland security committees citing Secret Service text messages of the time. of in attack was “erased”. But he did not immediately say that his office first found that removing in December and failed to alert legislators or check phones. He also failed to alert Congress about other text messages missing, including those of two top Trump appointees running the Department of National Security Service during final days of administration.

Kuffari and his staff did not respond to repeated inquiries for comment This week via email and phone. Kuffari, A. former adviser to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (right), was in his post since July 2019 after Trump’s nomination.

DHS spokeswoman Marsha Espinosa said the agency is cooperating with investigators and are “exploring every possibility of recovering text messages and other materials for January 6 investigation.

No texts dated January 6th for Wolf and Cuccinelli of Trump’s Homeland Security

Knowing that some of text messages requested by the watchdog were deleted, the Federal Protective Service, the DHS agency that guards federal buildings, offered their phones to the inspector. general investigators, saying they lack the resources to recover lost texts and other records. on their own, three people habitual with plan who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive investigation.

BUT senior forensic examination analyst in inspector generalx office took steps collect phones of the Federal Security Service, people said. But it’s too late on night of Friday, February 18 one of several deputies who inform Cuffari management team wrote an email to investigators instructing them not to pick up phones or ask them for any data, according to a copy of interior record shared with Mail.

Staff Investigators also wrote a letter in late January and early February to all DHS agencies offering help recover any text messages or other data that may have been lost. But the Kuffari leadership team after changed this project to say that if the agencies could not receive telephone messages for January 6 period they “should provide detailed list of inaccessible data and reason in information unavailable”, three people said.

Kuffari also learned in end of february what text messages for two top DHS officials under the Trump administration on day of in attack missing, lost in “reboot” of them government phones when they left their work in January 2021, according to internal record received by the Project on Government oversight. But Kuffari didn’t press department officials to explain why they didn’t save those records and try to recover them, according to four people instructed on watchdog actions. Kuffari also failed to warn Congress of the missing records.

These and other inconsistencies led key Democrats are taking a closer look attack and Department of National Security Service issue subpoena to the Secret Service and call for Kuffari refuse to investigate.

Representatives Benny G. Thompson (D-Miss), Chairman of House Homeland Security Committee and Investigation Committee on the January 6 Attack and Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.), Chairman of the committee that oversees the inspectors general said in Kuffari letter on Tuesday that they “have no confidence that he can investigate.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Illinois), Chairman of The Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday issued a statement calling the missing messages an “extremely serious matter” and said it would ask the Justice Department intervene.

“Inspector General Kuffari failure taking immediate action upon learning that these text messages have been deleted forces clear what he should trust no more with this is an investigation,” Durbin said. in statement. “That’s why today I’m sending a letter to Attorney General Garland asking step in and get to the bottom of what happened to those text messages and hold accountable those who are responsible”.

Kuffari was asked to respond to lawmakers by 9 August.

Kuffari opened criminal investigation of missing Secret Service text messages this month, one of dozens of asks him office does as part of this is work oversight of the Department of Homeland Security, the country’s third largest agency. Many, including Democrats in Congress, considered timing and motive for request with suspicion because Kuffari did not press for an investigation fact that the records were deleted when he first learned of this is months earlier. DHS includes agencies such as the Secret Service, the Federal Protective Service, and Immigration and Border Protection. protection.

Three people instructed on his appeal of missing text messages painted a portrait of en office that stumbled over how deal with this issue, even though they had highly qualified officials ready attack in issue and federal agencies willing to cooperate.

BUT former senior executive at the inspector general office who left agency is year said Kuffari office instructed the performer call chief forensic expert of the agency on saturday it’s early year tell him to stop down” on forensic examination work for secret service phones.

“This was done in direction of inspector generalfront office”, former senior said the chief executive, speaking on condition of anonymity because they are no longer on office.

Kuffari office continues issue reports and on the day the deputies called for him to step to the side, tweeted about the awards they had won for inspections. Awards from the Council of General Inspectors on Integrity and Efficiency, an independent enforcement agency supporting inspectors. general.

In their letter, Thompson and Maloney asked for advice to find a replacement. for Kuffari on investigating the disappearance of secret service texts.

The council said it could only help find a replacement if Kuffari decides to recuse themselves and asks them for assistance in finding a replacement, its executive director Alan F. Böhm, said in email.

This month, Kuffari sent a letter to the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees blaming the Secret Service. of erasing text messages from the time of the attack on Capitol and after he asked for them for his own investigation.

The Secret Service denied maliciously deleting text messages and said the deletion was part of of preplanned”system migration” of his phones. They said no one of Kuffari texts office the desired has disappeared.

The Federal Archives Act and other laws require federal agencies to retain government records, and this crime is punishable by a fine and prison time to deliberately destroy government records.

In addition to the secret service, text messages for Trump in charge of national security secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli is missing for a key period leading up until January 6 attack by four people instructed on business and internal email.

But Cuccinelli and Wolf both said they had turned in their phones, as Wolf put it in a tweet“fully loaded” and said it up to DHS to keep their messages.

on twitter, Wolf wrote: “I did with all data retention laws and returned all my equipment fully loaded on the department. Full stop. DHS has all my messages, emails, phone logs, schedules, etc. Any problems with the missing data must be addressed to DHS.”

Cucinelli, also on Twittersaid he gave in his phone before he left DHS and suggested that the agency “wiped” his phone after he left.

The National Archives and Records Administration requested more information on “potential unauthorized removal” of secret service text messages, but this investigation may be delayed due to criminal agency investigation. The archives did not contain direct comment Friday about texts from Wolf and Cucinelli.

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Tyler Hromadka
Tyler Hromadka
Tyler is working as the Author at World Weekly News. He has a love for writing and have been writing for a few years now as a free-lancer.

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