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Democrat Seeks Inspector General Inquiry Into Pentagon’s Missing Jan. 6 Texts

WASHINGTON — The No. 2 Senate Democrat on Wednesday known as for an inspector basic investigation into lacking textual content messages from prime Protection Division officers within the Trump administration associated to the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, stated he was sending a letter to Sean O’Donnell, the Protection Division’s inspector basic, in search of an investigation into the disappearance of textual content messages from the telephones of at the very least 5 former Trump administration officers, together with Christopher C. Miller, the performing protection secretary; Kash Patel, the Pentagon’s chief of employees; and Ryan D. McCarthy, the Military secretary.

The officers have been concerned in discussions about sending the Nationwide Guard to the Capitol throughout the mob violence.

“The disappearance of this important info might jeopardize efforts to be taught the complete reality about Jan. 6,” Mr. Durbin stated in an announcement. “I don’t know whether or not the failure to protect these important authorities texts from Jan. 6 is the results of unhealthy religion, beautiful incompetence or outdated data administration insurance policies, however we should unravel it.”

A spokeswoman for the inspector basic stated he was awaiting Mr. Durbin’s letter and would “overview the letter as soon as we obtain it.”

Mr. Durbin’s name for an investigation into the lacking texts from the Pentagon got here on the identical day the Justice Division filed a civil swimsuit towards a former White Home adviser to Mr. Trump, Peter Navarro, saying that Mr. Navarro had didn’t protect messages from a personal electronic mail tackle he utilized in conducting authorities enterprise.

Within the swimsuit, the Justice Division stated that it had reached out to Mr. Navarro about offering the emails, however that he had declined to offer the data “absent a grant of immunity for the act of returning such paperwork.”

Mr. Navarro was indicted in June on two fees of contempt of Congress after failing to adjust to subpoenas from the Home Jan. 6 committee in search of his testimony and paperwork.

Mr. Navarro’s attorneys, John Irving and John Rowley, stated that he had “by no means refused to offer data to the federal government.”

“As detailed in our current letter to the Archives, Mr. Navarro instructed his attorneys to protect all such data, and he expects the federal government to comply with customary processes in good religion to permit him to provide data,” the attorneys stated in an announcement. “As a substitute, the federal government selected to file its lawsuit right now.”

Within the case of the lacking Pentagon texts, Mr. Durbin wrote to the inspector basic a day after the watchdog group American Oversight sent a letter to Lawyer Normal Merrick B. Garland calling for an investigation. CNN reported earlier on the company’s lacking texts.

American Oversight found the problem in March by litigation over the Protection Division’s response to public data requests it filed associated to the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol. In a courtroom submitting, attorneys for the Protection Division and the Military instructed the group that the federal government couldn’t produce sure communications as a result of when an administration official leaves a submit, “she or he turns within the government-issued telephone, and the telephone is wiped.”

“For these custodians now not with the company, the textual content messages weren’t preserved,” the attorneys wrote, though they added that they might attempt to retrieve the texts by different means.

American Oversight had been in search of senior officers’ communications with Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Jan. 6.

The group has particularly requested for the communications of Mr. Miller; Mr. Patel; Mr. McCarthy; Paul Ney, the overall counsel for the Protection Division; Gen. James McConville, the Military chief of employees; James E. McPherson, the overall counsel of the Military; and Lt. Gen. Walter E. Piatt, the director of the Military employees.

Mr. Miller, Mr. Patel, Mr. Ney, Mr. McCarthy and Mr. McPherson all left the Protection Division or the Military by the tip of the Trump administration.

Mr. Durbin’s letter got here after he called on Mr. Garland last week to take over an investigation into lacking Division of Homeland Safety textual content messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, together with these on the telephones of Secret Service brokers. Additionally lacking have been the texts of Mr. Trump’s homeland safety secretary, Chad Wolf, and Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, his deputy.

Two influential Home Democrats have additionally known as for 2 officers on the Division of Homeland Safety’s unbiased watchdog to testify to Congress concerning the company’s dealing with of lacking Secret Service texts from Jan. 6, accusing their office of engaging in a cover-up.

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