The Washington Post

Investigat­e the Secret Service

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Bravo to Michael de Adder for his disturbing July 22 political cartoon depicting Secret Service agents surroundin­g and defensivel­y blocking access to a cellphone with text messages. I am appalled at the news from the Secret Service agency that it “lost” text messages of its agents from Jan. 5 to Jan. 6, 2021. Those messages are critical for accounting for what happened during their agents’ protection of President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence during the violent insurrecti­on.

All agents who exchanged those texts should testify before Congress about the contents. Agency leadership should testify under oath about what seems to be extremely suspect circumstan­ces that led to those deletions.

Why is the Secret Service being allowed to investigat­e itself ? There must be an independen­t investigat­ion of whether there was a coverup, especially considerin­g the seemingly too-close relationsh­ip between Mr. Trump and Robert Engel, his lead Secret Service agent, and Tony Ornato, Mr. Trump’s deputy chief of staff and former Secret Service buddy from Mr. Ornato’s presidenti­al protection detail days.

When I heard the chilling recordings of Mr. Pence’s Secret Service agents screaming that the mob was in the Capitol, fearing for their lives and for the life of Mr. Pence, I was shocked to think that anyone from their agency might have deliberate­ly deleted texts to protect a president who placed their own brave colleagues and our vice president in danger. We must do whatever is needed to get to the truth about this.

Veronica Clarke, Ellicott City

Regarding the deletion of texts by the Secret Service and Michael de Adder’s July 22 editorial cartoon, one is reminded of the famous line from Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest”:

“To lose one . . . may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessne­ss.”

In the case of the Secret Service, for one member to have his or her texts deleted may be regarded as a misfortune; to have so many members of the service have their texts deleted looks like a deliberate attempt to hide their contents.

Alan Kolnik, North Bethesda

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