DHS has launched criminal probe into destruction of Jan. 6 Secret Service text messages, sources say

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The Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security has launched a criminal investigation into the surrounding circumstances Destroy Secret Service text messages that may be related to inquiries about January 6 Capitol riotTwo sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The sources said the results of the investigation could be referred to federal prosecutors, based on the findings.

The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general told the intelligence service Wednesday evening that the investigation is now criminal and that all internal investigations into the Missing text messagesAccording to a detailed message to NBC News.

“To ensure the integrity of our investigation, the USSS must not engage in any other investigative activities in connection with the collection and preservation of the evidence referred to above,” DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala wrote in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray Wednesday night. . This includes immediately refraining from interviewing potential witnesses, collecting equipment, or taking any other action that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.

In a statement, the Secret Service said it had “received a letter from the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General. We notified the Select Committee on January 6 of the Inspector General’s request and will conduct a comprehensive legal review to ensure that we fully cooperate with all oversight efforts and do not conflict with each other.”

However, a Secret Service official said the letter raises some legal complications, because while the Department of Homeland Security has asked the Secret Service to stop its internal inquiries, the agency is also facing a January 6 commission subpoena and a request for information about transcripts from the National Archives. .

Ken Dylanian Contributed.

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