Bennie Thompson slams 'unacceptable' noncompliance from DHS inspector general in Secret Service text inquiry
'A Secret Service agent listening to his earpiece' [Shutterstock]

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riots, has put the inspector general's office for the Department of Homeland Security on notice.

Thompson and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) sent a letter to the DHS IG's office on Tuesday informing them that they are now considering "alternate means" to secure information they had requested about the Secret Service text messages related to January 6th that went missing.

The letter began by calling out the IG's office for purportedly stonewalling their investigation.

"In response to the Committees’ requests, you have refused to produce responsive documents and blocked employees in your office from appearing for transcribed interviews," wrote Thompson and Maloney. "Your obstruction of the Committees’ investigations is unacceptable, and your justifications for this noncompliance appear to reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of Congress’s authority and your duties as an Inspector General."

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The letter then detailed three separate instances of noncompliance with the House Select Committee's requests, including an initial failure to alert Congress to missing January 6-related texts, as well as the office's "repeated failures to gather text messages from the Secret Service and other senior officials related to the January 6 attack."

The letter concluded with a warning about facing a potential subpoena if the committee's demands remain unmet.

"Your failure to comply with our outstanding requests lacks any legal justification and is unacceptable," they wrote. "Please provide all responsive documents by August 23, 2022, and make the individuals requested for transcribed interviews available by the same date. If you continue to obstruct, we will have no choice but to consider alternate means to ensure compliance."

Read the whole letter here (PDF).

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