Secret Service Under Criminal Investigation

Inspector general tells agency to stop its own search for deleted texts
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2022 12:00 AM CDT
Secret Service Under Criminal Investigation
A Secret Service agent is stationed outside the funeral of Ivana Trump on Wednesday in New York.   (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

(Newser) – A government watchdog has informed the Secret Service that it's under criminal investigation over its deletion of text messages agents sent around the time of the attack on the Capitol. Because of that, the service was told it should shut down its internal investigation, the Washington Post reports. "This includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting devices or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation," the inspector general's office in the Department of Homeland Security wrote to the Secret Service.

Continued investigation by the Secret Service could interfere with the inspector general's effort, the letter said. An agency spokesman issued a statement saying the Secret Service "will conduct a thorough legal review to ensure we are fully cooperative with all oversight efforts." The warning of a "criminal investigation" represents an escalation in the efforts by the House committee investigating the attack and DHS to obtain the texts exchanged Jan. 5-6, the agency spokesman agreed. The inspector general isn't empowered to bring criminal charges but must alert the Justice Department if it uncovers a crime during an investigation, per the New York Times. (Read more Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

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