As the January 6th committee continues to widen its scope, desperately in search of some way to stop Donald Trump from running again in 2024, they’ve begun to target other institutions within the federal government itself.
When digging through Donald Trump’s inner circle yielded far fewer results than they had hoped for, the committee decided to reach out to anyone who was even remotely close to the White House during the attempted insurrection. This included seizing cell phones from the Secret Service.
Now, agents are being denied a request to learn what information was being used from their phones in the investigation.
Secret Service agents asked the agency for a record of all of the communications seized from their personal cellphones as part of investigations into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, but were rebuffed, according to a document reviewed by NBC News.
The Secret Service’s office that handles such requests, the Freedom of Information Act Program, denied the request, in which agents invoked the Privacy Act to demand more information about what had been shared from their personal devices.Trending:
The request was made in early August, just after news came to light that both Congress and the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general were interested in obtaining text messages of Secret Service agents that had been erased as part of what the agency said was a planned upgrade.
The request’s denial didn’t appear subject to appeal.
“This letter is the final response to your Privacy Act inquiry submitted on Aug. 4, 2022, for information pertaining to the release of personal cell phone information and/or other personal identifiable information (PII) by the U.S. Secret Service,” said the letter, dated last Wednesday.
“The agency has determined that regulation does not require a records disclosure accounting to be made in connection with your request,” the letter continued.
Earlier in their investigation, the January 6th committee appeared to suggest that the Secret Service was involved in a cover-up regarding this information, but the agency has firmly rebuked that notion.