Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, who has spent nearly a decade reporting on the Secret Service listed off some of the most egregious behavior by the USSS in culminating in 2021 with the attack on the U.S. Capitol and a possible physical encounter with then President Donald Trump and sudden loss of documents.
Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday ahead of the eighth public hearing for the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress, Leonnig listed off everything from CDC violations to roughing up protesters of Donald Trump.
"All of the things you describe, when you look at them individually, none of them smell right," said Leonnig about the recent revelation that the USSS deleted all digital communications from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021. "I've had a gut feeling of discomfort watching all of this unfold. First of all, every government agency in the executive branch is trained in how to preserve records and there is a systemic way to do this. They're given instructions on how to do this, but in this case, as the Trump administration was essentially getting booted out unhappily and the Biden administration was coming in, the Secret Service was eliminating government records. Whether they did this intentionally, maliciously, or nudge-nudge, wink-wink."
She explained that investigators must get to the bottom of how it happened and why it happened because as a government entity, under the executive branch, they are required to submit documents to the National Archives.
"Second of all, you have an inspector general who was appointed by Donald Trump and who just for context has repeatedly blocked investigations of how the Secret Service enabled Donald Trump in various political shenanigans," Leonnig continued. "Let me just name a couple to start. One, the forcible clearing of Lafayette Square which we all remember sort of viscerally because the point of removing praying, chanting Black Lives Matter protesters from the point of view of the president who was going to have a photo op. They were gassed. They were bludgeoned. They were shoved. Some of them were injured, but the president got his photo op to show that he was really tough. The inspector general blocked an investigation of the Secret Service's role in that."
She went on to recall that the inspector also blocked an investigation into "how the secret service enabled Trump in holding basically superspreaders, violating Secret Service protocol to have rallies before Americans had access to a vaccine for COVID. Now we are here today, a Jan. 6th committee at the tail end of scripting their season finale, records that helped corroborate what Secret Service agents were doing, what they were doing in the days leading up to Jan. 6th are gone. Gone, baby, gone. The Jan. 6th committee obviously doesn't want to stop its season in mid-flow and rewrite the script, but they are determined to get to the bottom of this. And I imagine that won't happen tonight but it will happen in the coming weeks."
The list of all of the things the Secret Service messed up in 2020: 'They enabled Donald Trump' www.youtube.com