Secret Service is ‘out of control’ after covering up J6 evidence: Lawrence O’Donnell
Uniformed U.S. Secret Service Officers watch as President Donald J. Trump boards Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, for his flight to Joint Base Andrews, Md. to begin his trip to Columbia, Mo. (Official White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

The U.S. Secret Service was described as an agency in crisis on Thursday after reports that the agency deleted text messages from Jan. 6 and the day before.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell reported, "the breaking news of the night, the news is that the secret service has destroyed evidence that is essential to the investigation of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol."

"Let me repeat that," he continued. "Yes, the Secret Service has deliberately destroyed evidence involving the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. That was revealed by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, which has jurisdiction over the Secret Service."

"The most important Secret Service text messages since the invention of text messaging, they were deliberately erased by the Secret Service, according to the inspector general," O'Donnell said. "The most important text message in the history of the Secret Service. We don't know if any of the text messages sent to and from Vice President Mike Pence and Secret Service detail survived the deliberate erasure by the Secret Service. Those text messages could show attempts by the Secret Service to move Mike Pence away from the Capitol against his will. Those text messages."

The agency has denied erasing the messages.

"The Secret Service text messages on Jan. 6 are the most important text messages Secret Service agents have ever sent or received on their phones," he repeated. "The most important ever and now, they might all be erased. Why? Who would the Secret Service be protecting erasing all of that crucial evidence?"

The Secret Service responded in a statement released Thursday evening.

"The insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false," Anthony Guglielmi, the agencies chief of communication, claimed.

"First, in January 2021, before any inspection was opened by OIG on this subject, the Secret Service began to reset its mobile phones to factory settings as part of a pre-planned, three-month system migration. In that process, data resident on some phones was lost," he claimed. "DHS OIG requested electronic communications for the first time on Feb. 26, 2021, after the migration was well under way. The Secret Service notified DHS OIG of the loss of certain phones’ data, but confirmed to OIG that none of the texts it was seeking had been lost in the migration."

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Lawrence O'Donnell