The Secret Service has confiscated the cell phones of 24 agents who were involved in the response to the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, and turned them over to the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general, NBC News reported.
The phones were handed over at the request of Inspector General Joseph Cuffari as part of his criminal investigation into missing text messages. Cuffari told Congress over the summer that he was only able to obtain a single text message sent during the agency's response to the riot at the Capitol. The Secret Service said that the messages were deleted as part of a system upgrade in which the phones were restored to the original factory settings.
"The work to investigate the travesty of the January 6th Insurrection is extremely important to us and aligns with the mission of the Secret Service, which is to safeguard our nation's highest government leaders. We have and will continue to cooperate fully with all of the oversight efforts, and we have provided everything that has been requested as part of these inquiries," the Secret Service said in a statement to The Hill.
It is unclear what information investigators were able to recover from the phones.