Key Pentagon officials from the Defense Department and the Army are the latest Trump officials whose Jan. 6 text messages have disappeared.
August 3, 2022

It seems like every day we learn about more January 6th text messages gone missing.

News of these latest suspicious disappearances comes via CNN:

The Defense Department wiped the phones of top departing DOD and Army officials at the end of the Trump administration, deleting any texts from key witnesses to events surrounding the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol, according to court filings.

The acknowledgment that the phones from the Pentagon officials had been wiped was first revealed in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit American Oversight brought against the Defense Department and the Army. The watchdog group is seeking January 6 records from former acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller, former chief of staff Kash Patel, and former Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy, among other prominent Pentagon officials -- having filed initial FOIA requests just a few days after the Capitol attack.

There are four other officials whose phones have been wiped: former DOD general counsel Paul Ney, Army general counsel James McPherson and two current officials, James McConville, chief of staff, and Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt, director of Army staff, CNN correspondent Kara Scannell reported.

The DOD and the Army are claiming the phone erasures were routine policy for departing officials. But what about the two who are still there? There appears to be no comment about that:

More from CNN:

"DOD and Army conveyed to Plaintiff that when an employee separates from DOD or Army he or she turns in the government-issued phone, and the phone is wiped," the government said in the filing. "For those custodians no longer with the agency, the text messages were not preserved and therefore could not be searched, although it is possible that particular text messages could have been saved into other records systems such as email."

Regardless of the routine policy, you’d think that somebody would have at least considered preserving data about an attack on our Capitol. Somebody or somebodies had good reason to do so, too. Scannell pointed out that the request for the text messages was made on January 12, 2021, six days after the insurrection, and that some officials left eight days after that, on the 20th, President Biden’s inauguration day.

So, there was ample time for everyone to have known that the text messages should not have been erased.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.