By Committee on Homeland Security
Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Glenn Ivey (D-MD), ranking member of the Oversight, Investigations, and Accountability Subcommittee, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General Joseph Cuffari calling on him to immediately resign after he admitted during Congressional testimony to a “normal practice” of deleting “business” text messages from his government-issued phone – willful and intentional acts that may constitute criminal violations of the Federal Records Act (FRA) and DHS policy.
This admission is not IG Cuffari’s first time being associated with the improper deletion of Federal records. He also mishandled his office’s investigation into the U.S. Secret Service for deleting text messages related to the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. Additionally, in his role as Inspector General, he repeatedly neglected to thoroughly investigate sexual harassment claims and issued reports with significant delays and quality issues. These many failures, along with his admission to deleting records, are detailed in the letter released on June 8.
An excerpt from the letter from Thompson and Ivey to Inspector Cuffari read:
“Your apparent violations of Federal criminal laws and your mishandling of key investigations within DHS have undermined any confidence in your ability to carry out your duties.”
Cuffar has a repeated history of deleting texts which was discovered after the Project On Government Oversight filed a lawsuit seeking text messages related to his lack of investigation into sexual misconduct cases.
The role of an Inspector General entails conducting independent and objective audits and investigations and preventing and detecting waste, fraud and abuse.
The letter concluding with a clear statement from the Committee on Homeland Security, “We must restore credibility to the OIG in order to have independent oversight and accountability within DHS. Your resignation is the necessary first step.”