Court documents show Jan. 6 texts of Trump Defense Department officials erased by Pentagon

Aerial view of the U.S. military headquarters, the Pentagon.

Jason Reed | Reuters

On January 6, 2021, text messages received and sent by senior Pentagon officials who were former members of the Trump administration were deleted from government-issued cell phones, according to a federal court document citing statements from the Defense Department and the Army.

According to the document, the text messages of the day — the invasion of the U.S. Capitol by a group of Trump supporters — “were not preserved and therefore cannot be searched.”

The filing, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., is a joint status report by lawyers involved in the lawsuits brought against the Defense Department and the Army by the watchdog group U.S. Oversight, which sought records related to Jan. 6 from former Pentagon officials.

The report was submitted in March.

But it came to light on Tuesday for U.S. surveillance Ask Attorney General Merrick Garland The group said it would launch an investigation into the Pentagon’s “failure to protect communications, including those of former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, as of January 6.”

In its letter to Garland, the group noted that the DHS inspector general is currently conducting a criminal investigation into the deletion of a Jan. 6 text message from Secret Service agents and officers’ cell phones.

This is breaking news. Please check for updates.

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