Last Night on Late Night
The Secret Service told the House Jan. 6 committee this week that it has irretrievably lost all but one text message agents had sent or received on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, despite being required by the Federal Records Act to retain them and specific request for those texts from the agency's inspector general, journalists, and Congress.
"The purged texts of Secret Service agents — some of whom planned President Donald Trump's movements on Jan. 6 and shadowed Trump as he sought to overturn the election results — could shed light on what Trump was planning and saying," The Washington Post notes. The Secret Service also played its own role in the Jan. 6 drama.
"Four House committees had already sought these critical records from the Department of Homeland Security before the records were apparently lost" in a questionable Jan. 27, 2021, purge preceding a phone system upgrade, the Jan. 6 committee said Wednesday. That's "just three weeks after the attack on the Capitol in which the vice president of the United States, while under the protection of the Secret Service, was steps from a violent mob hunting for him."
A Jan. 6-related scandal involving the agency charged with protecting the president and vice president is potentially a very big deal — or not, evidently, depending on your news source. On Wednesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert's team pithily contrasted the coverage Fox & Friends dedicated to an earlier Federal Records Act violation — hint: it involves Hillary Clinton — and this new Secret Service breach.
The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, covering the scandal in more depth Tuesday night, seemed skeptical of the Secret Service's inability to recover the text messages. "It's interesting how they're saying once you delete a text, there's no way to retrieve it. Yeah, once they delete a text, it's gone. Because best believe if any of us 'lost a text,' the Secret Service would find it."