(TargetLiberty.org) – Two Democratic lawmakers have called for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) inspector general to step down after it was revealed that he frequently deletes text messages from his government phone.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-Md.) in a letter to Joseph Cuffari, the head of the agency’s Office of Inspector General, wrote that it was troubling to hear during the House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing that he had been regularly deleting official government records. They further added that this was a violation of a law that Cuffari’s office is meant to enforce. They added that as Cuffari had admitted that he had repeatedly violated Federal criminal law, he should immediately resign.
The revelation about Cuffari deleting messages came out while Ivey was questioning him during the hearing about the missing Secret Service text messages. At the time Ivey had specifically asked whether he regularly deleted messages after Cuffari had stated that deleting them was “normal practice” for him. In response, Cuffari had simply stated “Correct.”
The two proceeded to have an exchange about whether phone records needed to be retained. Cuffari has argued that he did not use his government phone for official business and as such the records that he was deleting should not be considered federal records. He also claimed that what is considered a federal record is defined by a specific statute.
However, the two lawmakers disagreed arguing that the deletion of the messages willfully could be considered “criminal violations of the Federal Records Act (FRA).”
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