House

Jan. 6 panel members report progress on Trump-Secret Service probe

Lawmakers on the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol offered differing accounts Wednesday of recent evidence they have received from the Secret Service, but agreed they are making progress on its investigation into agency actions in the days leading up to the attack.

The comments follow demands from the committee that the agency turn over its communications for Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 after being notified the Secret Service lost the messages as it migrated to a new mobile management software.

The Secret Service turned in a large batch of documents to the committee in July, but Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said “there is now a very steady flow of data coming in to the committee.”

“New information has come in and some of it is, you know, very pertinent. Some of it is less relevant, but it’s been a large volume of information,” Lofgren said during an appearance on MSNBC on Wednesday.

Panel Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) suggested that the committee has also been able to obtain additional messages from the agency.

Just a single text message was turned over by the Secret Service amid thousands of documents in response to the committee’s request – a plea from then-Capitol Police officer Steven Sund asking for help.

Thompson twice answered “yes” when asked if the files recently turned over included agency text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6.

He also said he was not aware of whether they had been reconstructed.

“They were presented to us. I’m not — I don’t know the origin,” Thompson said.

“We’ve asked for any and all messages, so the tranches we’ve received have been significant,” he added. “It’s a combination of a number of text messages, radio traffic, that kind of thing. Just thousands of exhibits.”

Lofgren would not offer details on the format of the new information that has proven useful to the committee.

“I didn’t say what specific types of information, and I really am not at liberty to do that under the committee rules. You know, there’s texts, there’s emails, there’s radio traffic, there’s all kinds of information, [Microsoft] Teams meetings. So we’re going through everything that’s been provided. More is coming in. As I say, some of it is not relevant, and some of it is,” she said. 

“It’s a huge slog to go through it, but we are going to go through it, and the members of the committee themselves have been involved in this.”

The indication that the committee is making process in its investigation as it relates to the Secret Service comes as the panel’s members have said they have yet to secure testimony from Tony Ornato, who retired from the Secret Service this summer following testimony that he told White House staff that former President Trump lunged at his security detail after being told he could not join his supporters at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

While the Secret Service said Ornato and any other staff would be made available to the committee, he has yet to testify.

“He has his own lawyer and obviously the constraints of him being in the Secret Service is different than him being a private citizen,” Thompson said.

Mychael Schnell contributed.

Tags Bennie Thompson Bennie Thompson Donald Trump Jan. 6 panel Secret Service Steven Sund Trump Zoe Lofgren Zoe Lofgren
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