The U.S. Secret Service provided the Jan. 6 House committee with a list of of all personal mobile phone numbers owned by agents based on in Washington, for period panel is investigating, according to sources familiar with with case is unusual step against the backdrop of increased attention of agency cooperation with Congress panel investigation last yearRussian uprising and role then President Donald Trump played in It.
The committee can now determine which agents call records they can want to review and, if they choose to do so, can request records from agents directly or presumably issue subpoenas to their mobile operators, official habitual with situation explained.
Secret Service and Division of National Security, which oversees the agency, faced criticism in recent weeks for deleting text messages belonging to agents on and around January 6, 2021. Democrats in Congress accused the Homeland Security Inspector of general of giving up trying to collect text and phone records from that day.
Search and receive information from the personal devices of federal employees is “highly unusual” step committee, according to Don Michalek, a retired senior Secret Service agent and may reflect the agency’s renewed efforts to further demonstrate its cooperation. with congressional investigators.
The Secret Service has faced serious criticism in recent weeks, when the committee’s testimony was focused on Trump’s behavior on January 6, 2021 and what agents assigned to the White House did and saw that day.
At the same time, according to Michalek, the agency decision transfer personal device information over committee may present acute legal challenges.
“If the agency applies over these private phone numbers, the only suitable course for it would be via subpoena or court order,” said Michalek, a correspondent for ABC News. over can be problematic.”
representative for The Secret Service recently admitted that some of the phone’s data for January 2021 was lost. result of pre-scheduled data transfer, noting that the transfer was performed when the inspector generalx office made request in February 2021.
ABC News reported on Thursday that DHS is reviewing its electronic retention policy and will stop erasing data from the phones of political appointees until review is complete.
Secret Service and Representatives of committee 6 January declined to comment.
Aaron Katersky and Luke Barr of ABC News provided reporting.