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Secret Service delay in warning Capitol Police about Pelosi threat requires answers

Skepticism toward the Secret Service has been growing. And newly released emails revealing some of its communications with Capitol Police aren't helping.


Let’s be frank here: There’s growing, justifiable suspicion that the Secret Service — an agency responsible for protecting the United States’ top officials — may have engaged in a cover-up regarding its actions on or around the Jan. 6 attack.

Over the past month we’ve learned the Secret Service agents erased texts, despite leadership issuing guidance weeks after the Jan. 6 attack instructing members to "preserve content on their phones" ahead of a phone migration. And sources told NBC News that Secret Service members referenced in Cassidy Hutchinson's bombshell testimony before the Jan. 6 committee have disputed some of her claims — yet there's no evidence they've come forward to do so under oath. What's more, top Democrats have accused the Department of Homeland Security inspector general of hampering investigations into the deleted texts.

The situation became even more concerning following a report published Wednesday by government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

Emails obtained by CREW showed the Secret Service learned about a threat to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., days before the Jan. 6 attack — but did not notify Capitol Police about it until hours after rioters stormed the Capitol.

A Secret Service email sent at 5:55 p.m. ET on Jan. 6, 2021, warned the Capitol Police of a threat made against Pelosi on the far-right social media platform Parler two days prior, according to CREW.

The threat referenced in the email was posted on Dec. 31, 2020, by the account @unleashedpatriots and invoked Revolutionary War language to describe a violent attack against liberals on Jan. 6:

January 6 starts #1776 all over again!! Fight for God!! Fight for Your Freedom!! Fight for Your Children!! Fight for Trump!! Fight for America!! Fight for EVERYTHING… Enemies: #MSM #BarackObama #HillaryClinton #GeorgeSoros #JoeBiden #AndrewCuomo #GavinNewsom #Nancy Pelosi #BillDeBlasio

The email shows that the Secret Service found accounts using similar handles on various social media platforms and that as part of its search it unearthed several other threats ahead of Jan. 6.

"We CANNOT allow #Biden to enter the white house," one comment posted to Parler stated, according to the email. A tweet from the account @unleashpatriots included in the email said Biden's head was sure to be "torn right off" once he entered the White House.

Reports from the immediate aftermath of Jan. 6 had already detailed how right-wing websites became more violent and fascistic than usual in the lead-up to Jan. 6 — but the CREW report shows the Secret Service knew of a specific threat to a top lawmaker and didn’t notify police about it until an insurrection was underway.

In a statement to Insider on Wednesday, the Secret Service said it does "not comment on issues pertaining to protective intelligence" but stated that the agency has "an outstanding working relationship with all law enforcement agencies in the National Capitol Region."

It’s obvious that federal investigators will need to pull at this thread. We know then-President Donald Trump installed loyalists inside top security and law enforcement agencies, and we know some of them served Trump’s personal interests over the interests of the agency or the country. In this case, we have the Secret Service appearing to withhold information about a threat against a top Democrat — one whom Trump has routinely and publicly targeted.

We need answers. Immediately. The country is not safe without them.