(Bloomberg) -- The Senate committee overseeing the Secret Service is “aggressively” seeking answers on the agency’s missing texts involving the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol, according to the panel’s chairman.
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Gary Peters said the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee he leads may hold hearings on the missing texts and is questioning the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general, who is investigating the matter.
“We’re still evaluating the evidence, we’re still asking questions, we’re still waiting for responses,” Peters, a Democrat from Michigan, said Wednesday during an appearance on “Bloomberg Balance of Power With David Westin.”
Read more: Missing Secret Service Texts Called Critical to Jan. 6 Probe
News of the missing texts surfaced as the House panel investigating the Jan. 6 attack homed in on reports that former President Donald Trump had to be blocked by Secret Service agents from traveling with supporters to the Capitol. The head of the service, which is part of DHS, said the texts were lost during a technology upgrade.
Key lawmakers in the House have called for the DHS inspector general, Joseph Cuffari, to step aside from the probe, citing questions about his independence. Peters said the office should continue investigating, but said his Senate committee is also playing a role.
Liz Hempowicz, director of public policy for the Project on Government Oversight, said the watchdog group is pressing the White House to remove Cuffari and is calling on members of Congress to back the effort.
“It takes sustained congressional attention and pressure on inspector general issues for it to really catch the attention of the president,” she said. “We really need Congress to step up to the plate and make this an issue that the president is paying attention to.”
A spokesman for Cuffari didn’t respond to a request for comment.
(Updates with watchdog group comment beginning in sixth paragraph)
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