Two top House Democrats call for watchdog to recuse in Jan 6 Secret Service probe

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Reuters) - Two senior U.S. House of Representatives Democrats called on Tuesday for Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari to recuse himself from the investigation into Secret Service text messages related to the probe into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

House of Representatives Oversight Chairperson Carolyn Maloney and House Homeland Security Chairperson Bennie Thompson, who also leads the panel probing the Capitol attack, said in a letter they lost confidence in the watchdog after he failed to inform Congress for months that Secret Service messages around Jan. 6, 2021, might have been erased.

"These omissions left Congress in the dark about key developments in this investigation and may have cost investigators precious time to capture relevant evidence," Maloney and Thompson wrote.

The House Jan. 6 Select Committee subpoenaed the Secret Service earlier this month, seeking text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, 2021, after the Secret Service said data from some phones had been lost during a system migration that was initiated prior to the inspector general's request. read more

A spokesperson for the Secret Service had no new comment on the letter, but pointed to previous statements from the agency confirming its continued cooperation with all oversight and investigations related to Jan. 6.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Chris Reese and Marguerita Choy

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