Trump impeachment lawyer pokes holes in Secret Service’s claim over missing Jan. 6 texts

Daniel Goldman, former prosecutor in the House impeachment trial, who appeared on CNN’s New Day on Friday morning, cast a suspicious eye on the Secret Service’s claims that the only missing texts among the agents appeared around January 6, and said there was more to the story than government officials let on.

Joseph Cuffari, the inspector general for Homeland Security, told Congress in Wednesday’s letter that his office was having difficulty obtaining Secret Service records for January 5 and 6, 2021.

The messages could be crucial to House and Justice Department investigations into whether Donald Trump and his close advisers encouraged the deadly uprising by the former president’s supporters in the US Capitol aimed at threatening Democratic rival Joe Biden’s certification as a Winner to prevent the November 2020 election.

“The Department has informed us that many United States Secret Service (USSS) text messages dated January 5 and 6, 2021 were deleted as part of an equipment replacement program,” Cuffari wrote in the letter, first reported by The Intercept and later by Politico was released.

Speaking to hosts Brianna Keliar and John Berman, Goldman was asked about the report.

“Daniel, what do you see here?” Host Berman began. “What we do know is that an Inspector General of Homeland Security requested these text messages, and now we’re learning from that Inspector General of Homeland Security, there is a letter from that person saying they were destroyed after that request. What does that mean? tell you?”

“Well, first of all, we should remember that these letters are not being written lightly to Congress,” he began. “I’m sure the inspector general informed Intelligence that if they didn’t achieve better compliance, they would have to send this letter and they didn’t, but more importantly and to the point, there is many questions this raises.”

“You claim it was a phone migration scheme, but the only days with texts that were deleted were January 5th and 6th?” he elaborated. “It seems very unlikely that this is due to the phone migration. Second, I would like to understand when this happened because the letter states that these text messages were requested by IG as part of their investigation into January 6th and after that these texts were deleted.”

“Well, that raises a lot of suspicions too, because if a lawful investigator makes a request, you should freeze everything,” he added. “And finally, it raises a lot of questions as to whose lyrics were deleted. Was it Tony Ornato, who was an intelligence officer, who came on board as a political commissioner as deputy chief of staff? So there are still many questions to be answered. but it is very suspicious, largely because of the crucial role the Secret Service played on Jan. 5-6 in stopping Donald Trump from going to the Capitol and scurrying Mike Pence out of the Capitol when he made serious threats was.. Many, many questions need to be directed to the Secret Service.”

The intelligence agency has been criticized for failing to adequately anticipate the threat posed by the violent action by armed Trump supporters on Jan. 6.

At the time, Trump had appointed a senior intelligence official, Tony Ornato, as his personal deputy chief of staff.

Ornato has denied former Trump aide Cassidy Hutchinson’s report to the committee Jan. 6 that Trump tried to force the Secret Service to drive him to the Capitol as his supporters gathered inside the building, the seat of the US Legislature .

But other White House officials at the time supported Hutchinson’s story.

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