Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a member of the House select...

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), a member of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol.

Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin

WASHINGTON — Members of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol said Sunday they are working “to get to the bottom of” why the Secret Service has yet to turn over text messages from that day after a government watchdog accused the agency of erasing the records.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said the panel expects “to know more on Tuesday” when the Secret Service is expected to reply to a subpoena issued by the committee Friday seeking text messages from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 of last year.

The subpoena came days after the inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security testified before Congress that the Secret Service had failed to turn over text messages from the day of the Capitol riots. Agency officials told investigators the phone records were lost due to a preplanned “system migration” that cleared the text messages from Secret Service devices.

“In the very least," Kinzinger told CBS’s “Face the Nation,” "it is quite crazy that the Secret Service would actually end up deleting anything related to one of the more infamous days in American history, particularly when it comes to the role of the Secret Service."

The text messages could help corroborate some of the earlier testimony from White House aides, including that of Cassidy Hutchinson, a former top aide to ex-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. In her testimony, Hutchinson recounted under oath hearing from top White House security officials that after then-President Donald Trump's Jan. 6 speech on the Ellipse, he lunged at his security detail from the back of his presidential vehicle after they refused to drive him to the Capitol.

“The insinuation that the Secret Service maliciously deleted text messages following a request is false,” said a spokesman for the agency Thursday in a statement.

Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), a member of the committee, appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, said it was critical to “get to the bottom” of the missing texts because “there's a requirement for federal agencies to maintain records.”

“An agency that was such a key part of a critical event in our history, one would assume they had done everything possible to preserve those records," Luria said, "to analyze them to determine what kind of things went right or went wrong that day in their practices and procedures."

The committee was considering steps to recover the missing messages, she said.

“Not being an IT expert … I do understand there's a lot of things that can be done, a lot of forensic analysis and recouping of data,” Luria said.

The panel's last scheduled televised hearing is set for Thursday evening but committee members have said they will release a final report in the fall with additional information received by the panel.

“This investigation is very much ongoing,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The fact that a series of hearings is going to be concluded this Thursday doesn't mean that our investigation is over. It's very active, new witnesses are coming forward, additional information is coming forward. There are things that we're looking at still.”

Lofgren said Thursday’s prime-time hearing will provide a “minute-by-minute” account of Trump’s actions on Jan. 6, as several aides, allies and family members pressed him to issue a statement immediately demanding his supporters pull back from the Capitol.

“We hope to go through minute-by-minute what happened, what didn't happen on that day, and people can make their own judgment,” Lofgren said.

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