The Secret Service has handed congressional investigators more than 1 million electronic communications sent by agents in the lead-up to and during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
While the communications do not include text messages, they do include emails and other electronic messages, according to a Secret Service spokesperson.
The communications may shed light on lingering questions, including contact agents may have had with rioters, their efforts to protect then-Vice President Mike Pence and what occurred inside then-President Donald Trump’s car when Trump allegedly ordered Secret Service agents to take him to the Capitol.
“We have and continue to fully cooperate with the Jan. 6 select committee. While no additional text messages were recovered, we have provided a significant level of details from emails, radio transmissions, Microsoft Teams chat messages and exhibits that address aspects of planning, operations and communications surrounding Jan. 6,” said Secret Service spokesperson Special Agent Steve Kopek.
It was previously unknown that the total number of communications provided to congressional investigators surpassed 1 million.
The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack subpoenaed the Secret Service for the communications in July, shortly after it was revealed that most text messages sent by agents via their official cellphones on Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, were deleted as part of a pre-planned phone upgrade.
NBC News previously reported that Secret Service agents have been trying to get an account of what information may have been taken from their personal phones and handed over to congressional investigators, but they were recently denied.
While the contents of the messages remain unknown, the committee may use them as exhibits in a hearing scheduled for Thursday.
The content of texts Secret Service agents sent on Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, attracted increased interest in June, after former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told the House Jan. 6 committee that she had heard secondhand that Trump lunged at a Secret Service agent when he refused to drive Trump’s car toward the Capitol during the insurrection. Trump has denied lunging at the agent.
Most recently, a member of the far-right Oath Keepers group testified in court he believed their leader, Stewart Rhodes, was in communication with at least one Secret Service agent prior to the Jan. 6 insurrection. Rhodes and other Oath Keepers have been charged with sedition for their roles in the attack on the Capitol. They have pleaded not guilty.