August 03, 2022

Durbin Calls for DOD IG to Investigate Missing Text Messages from Trump's Defense Department Leadership in Lead Up to January 6 Insurrection

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, today released the following statement regarding a report that text messages for former President Donald Trump’s then-Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy are missing for a key time period leading up to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.  The report notes that all three individuals were involved in the Defense Department’s response to sending National Guard troops to the U.S. Capitol as the insurrection was unfolding, but there is no suggestion that the officials themselves erased the records.

“The disappearance of this critical information could jeopardize efforts to learn the full truth about January 6.  I don’t know whether the failure to preserve these critical government texts from January 6 is the result of bad faith, stunning incompetence, or outdated records management policies, but we must get to the bottom of it.  That’s why I am sending a letter today to the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General asking the Acting Inspector General, Sean O’Donnell, to open an investigation and get to the bottom of what happened to these text messages.”

Last Friday, Durbin sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to assume control of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s investigation into the missing text messages from former President Donald Trump’s Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli, as well as Secret Service officials, in the lead up to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

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