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Pentagon deleted messages after Trump’s departure, including about attack on Capitol Hill

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The United States Department of Defense erased all content from the phones of its high-ranking officials in the final days of the Republican president's administration.
The United States Department of Defense erased all content from the phones of its high-ranking officials in the final days of the Republican president’s administration.| Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The United States Department of Defense deleted the contents of the phones of its high-ranking officials in the final days of the Donald Trump administration (2017-2021), including any possible reference to the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack.

As reported on Tuesday (2) by broadcasters CNN and CNBC, the Pentagon has eliminated all content from the devices of Army commanders and civilians with responsibility for the Armed Forces, such as the then Secretary of Defense, Chris Miller, and the then Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy.

On July 21, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) opened a criminal investigation into the deletion of messages that Secret Service agents sent on January 6, 2021, the day of the Capitol Hill attack.

DHS Deputy Inspector General Gladys Ayala then asked in a letter to Secret Service Director James Murray to close his own investigation into the incident because he already had one open in his briefcase.

The Secret Service, the body in charge of protecting the country’s president, among others, has determined that it cannot recover deleted text messages that were sent on January 5 and 6 of a year ago.

The House of Representatives committee investigating the Capitol Hill attack had requested these messages, but was only able to receive one.

The rest were removed as part of a previously planned system migration, although the committee believes the procedure to preserve content may not have adhered to current requirements and may have violated the Federal Records Act.

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