Trump’s chosen DHS Inspector General, Joseph Cuffari admitted during a House hearing that he destroyed federal records.
Video clip from the hearing:
Raskin: In June 2022 there was going to be a reference to secret service’s obstruction of questioning about the disappearance of the texts. That was deliberately removed. Did you sign off on that removal? pic.twitter.com/wKZnrMQenS
— Acyn (@Acyn) June 6, 2023
House Oversight Committee Democrats summed up what they uncovered at a subcommittee hearing and provided their findings to PoliticusUSA:
Under questioning by Rep. Glenn Ivey, IG Cuffari admitted to consistently deleting text messages from his government issued iPhone because of his unilateral assessment that the messages were not required to be preserved under the law. Deleting federal records—including text messages—are potentially violations of the Federal Records Act.
Ranking Member Jamie Raskin described how IG Cuffari did not immediately report to Congress the Secret Service’s refusal to comply with requests for information regarding the disappearance of thousands of text messages sent on federally issued phones around the January 6, 2021, insurrection, as he was statutorily required to do.
Rep. Daniel Goldman unveiled IG Cuffari’s efforts to categorically prevent DHS OIG employees from taking part in transcribed interviews regarding text messages deleted by Secret Service agents on January 6, 2021, and his ability to independently and effectively perform his duties as Inspector General. “You just blanketly refused to permit them, even though they could, of course, come in here and say they can’t answer specific questions related to ongoing investigations?” Mr. Goldman asked. “That’s correct,” Mr. Cuffari responded. “I find it remarkable that we are having this hearing with someone with a very clear vendetta and political, politicized approach to the job of an independent Inspector General,” Mr. Goldman said.
The inspector general was chosen by Trump and confirmed by the Senate. Cuffari is an ardent Trump supporter who has been accused of violating the basic norms of the rule of law. Cuffari admitted to the crime of destroying federal documents. He is unfit for the position that he currently holds, should possibly face criminal charges, and at a minimum should be removed by President Biden.