Former acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf slammed The Washington Post over a report that it published Thursday evening that alleged that his text messages went missing for a key period leading up to the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The report claimed that acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli’s text messages also went missing and that the department notified its inspector general that the messages were lost in a “reset” of their government-issued phones when they departed from their positions as Democrat President Joe Biden took over.
The report was largely speculative, claiming for example that the text messages “could have shed considerable light on Trump’s actions and plans.”
“It is extremely troubling that the issue of deleted text messages related to the January 6 attack on the Capitol is not limited to the Secret Service, but also includes Chad Wolf and Ken Cuccinelli, who were running DHS at the time,” Democrat House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson claimed in a statement. “It appears the DHS Inspector General has known about these deleted texts for months but failed to notify Congress.”
Wolf responded to the report in a statement, saying that it was hard for him even “to know where to begin with the inaccuracies in this reporting.”
“@mariasacchetti @CarolLeonnig gave me just hours to ‘respond’ while I was traveling,” Wolf said. “Had they actually attempted to reach me this is what I would have said… I complied with all data retention laws and returned all my equipment fully loaded to the Department. Full stop. DHS has all my texts, emails, phone logs, schedules, etc. Any issues with missing data needs to be addressed to DHS. To imply otherwise is lazy reporting.”
“‘Reporting’ goes on to say that I deployed personnel to ‘tamp down on BLM protestors in Portland,” Wolf continued. “This is a lie that has been debunked over and over and over again. DHS personnel were attacked with baseball bats, hammers, IEDs, and endured more violence than most could imagine.”
The newspaper published a report Tuesday afternoon that claimed former President Donald Trump’s actions related to events after the 2020 election are under criminal investigation by the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors have reportedly questioned former White House officials in front of a grand jury about any conversations that Trump or his advisers may have allegedly had about trying to replace electors in states that Biden won with pro-Trump electors.
Prosecutors have also reportedly asked about Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the results of the election and any instructions that Trump may have given his legal team about fake electors.
Attorney General Merrick Garland said during a Tuesday evening interview with NBC News that the criminal investigation into the events of January 6 was “the most wide ranging investigation in its history,” and there will be things that the DOJ finds that the House Select January 6th committee “haven’t found.”
When asked by anchor Lester Holt about whether indicting Trump would “tear the country apart,” Garland responded, “We intend to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6, for any attempt to interfere with the lawful transfer of power from one administration to another, accountable.”
“That’s what we do,” he continued. “We don’t pay any attention to other issues with respect to that.”
When asked if Trump announcing another campaign for president would impact how the DOJ would proceed with the case, Garland responded, “I’ll say again that we will hold accountable anyone who was criminally responsible for attempting to interfere with the transfer, legitimate, lawful transfer of power from one administration to the next.”