The Department of Defense has been caught wiping the phones of senior Trump officials that may have proved that January 6 was an ‘inside job’.
The DOD confessed that the phones belonging to former Pentagon officials had been wiped as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by American Oversight, a non-profit watchdog organization.
Theepochtimes.com reports: American Oversight had sought the communications that those officials had with Trump, former Vice President Pence, Trump White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, or anyone communicating on their behalf on Jan. 6.
The watchdog group submitted the FOIA requests pertaining to the records on Jan. 12, 2021, six days after the breach of the Capitol building.
Specifically, FOIA requests sought communications from former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, Paul Ney, the Defense Department’s general counsel; and James E. McPherson, the Army’s general counsel.
However, in a court filing roughly a year after the request, the Army stated that “when an employee separates from DOD or Army he or she turns in the government issued phone, and the phone is wiped” and that “for those custodians no longer with the agency, the text messages were not preserved and therefore could not be searched.”
The court filing noted, however, that “it is possible that particular text messages could have been saved into other records systems such as email.”
The DOD’s admission in the filings creates further transparency issues regarding the Jan. 6 select committee’s investigation into the events of that day in 2021 and how the government responded.
It also comes shortly after it was revealed that U.S. Secret Service text messages sent on the day the breach had also been deleted.
A number of texts from secret service members from Jan. 5 and Jan. 6, “were erased as part of a device-replacement program,” Joseph Cuffari, the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, told lawmakers in a July letter.