When it was first revealed that the text messages from the Secret Service agents assigned to Donald Trump on January 6th were deleted after Congress had formally requested them, it raised questions as to whether this was a localized scandal or a systemic one. When it was reported days ago that the Homeland Security Inspector General had actively worked to cover up the scandal, it appeared to be much more than a localized scandal. Now it’s gotten uglier. Far uglier.
It turns out the Department of Defense also wiped the cellphones of some top agency officials – including some who were closely allied with Donald Trump – deleting their January 6th text messages in the process, per CNN. As has been the case up to now, agency officials will surely claim that this was mere standard procedure, move along, nothing to see here. But let’s be real.
This means that multiple agencies just happened to conveniently erase text messages that served as direct evidence in the congressional probe (and by default the DOJ criminal probe) into Donald Trump’s actions on January 6th – and that at least one of those agencies erased them after Congress requested them, and then went to great lengths to cover up the fact that they’d been erased. Are we supposed to believe this is all mere coincidence?
For that matter, if two agencies did this, it means there’s a good chance we’re about to learn that even more agencies did so. The question isn’t why multiple government agencies did this. The question is who told them to do it. If someone in the Trump administration instructed these agencies to delete their January 6th text messages, knowing those texts were evidence of Trump’s criminal behavior, that would be felony obstruction of justice. Somebody appears to be in real trouble. Now it’s just a matter of investigators figuring out who that is. In the meantime, everyone involved would do well to come clean right now, before it all comes out anyway.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report