September 26, 2023

Aerial view of the United States headquarters, the Pentagon.

Jason Reed | Reuters

Text messages received and sent by top Pentagon officials who were part of the Trump administration on Jan. 6, 2021, were deleted from their government-issued phones, according to a federal court filing that cites statements from the Department of Defense and the Army .

Text messages from that day — when a mob of Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol — “were not preserved and therefore could not be searched,” according to that filing.

The filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., was a joint status report by lawyers involved in a lawsuit by the watchdog group American Oversight against the Department of Defense and the Army, which is seeking records related to Jan. 6 from a group of former officials of the Pentagon.

This petition was filed in March.

But it came to light on Tuesday, as requested by American Oversighted Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch an investigation into the Pentagon’s “failure to preserve communications, which included those of former Defense Secretary Chris Miller and former Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, from Jan. 6,” the group said.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

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