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Needless to say, I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories. However, the bombshell that the pro-Trump Secret Service deleted crucial text messages from January 5 and January 6, 2021, may be a “connect the dots” moment. It’s not just that this excised communication may have corroborated Cassidy Hutchinson’s second-hand account of Trump lunging for the steering wheel and grabbing a Secret Service member to try and compel them to drive him to the Capitol after the January 6 rally.

There might be something much more profoundly concerning that might have made the Secret Service collaborators in Trump’s coup plot.

Let’s begin with a July 16, 2021, article from the Independent that begins is entitled, “Mike Pence refused to get in car amid 6 January riots fearing Secret Service ‘conspiracy’, reports claim”:

Former Vice President Mike Pence purportedly refused to get into a vehicle with secret service agents amid the 6 January riots out of fear there was a “conspiracy” to “vindicate the insurrection”….

Mr Pence refused to evacuate the Capitol a number of times on 6 January as pro-Trump rioters stormed the building in a bid to prevent the certification of the 2020 election results.

Amid the riots Mr Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber to his ceremonial office, where he remained protected by secret service agents alongside members of his family.

Then, let’s move to an eye-raising detail involving the oldest member of the Senate, Charles Grassley (R-IA), about a January 5, 2021, comment he quickly backtracked on. Heather Cox Richardson recalled the short-lived claim in her July 13 column:

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On January 5, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who was the president pro tempore of the Senate, the second highest-ranking person in the Senate after the vice president, told reporters about the next day: “Well, first of all, I will be—if the Vice President isn’t there and we don't expect him to be there, I will be presiding over the Senate.” His office immediately clarified that Grassley meant only that he would preside over counting of the Electoral Votes only if Vice President Mike Pence “had to step away during Wednesday’s proceedings,” and that “‘[e]very indication we have is that the vice president will be there.”

Richardson writes that the largely forgotten “we don’t expect him [Pence] to be there” statement combined with Grassley’s claim that he would then preside over the electoral count “continues to bother” her, as it should. Grassley’s statement appears, given that democracy was at stake, as something more than casual. It seems to reflect the possibility of someone who knew of Trump-world plans, but was quickly told to retract his “prediction.”

If Grassley, who did eventually vote to accept the Biden victory, had been presiding over the electoral count, who knows if he would have accepted the Biden electors in the swing states, given the strenuous pressure from team Trump? His eye-popping statement of January 5 certainly raises that question. Why would Pence need “to step away”? Why would Grassley even consider such a possibility the day before the count and insurrection unless he knew more than he was saying? Why was Pence fearful of the Secret Service driving him from the Capitol, with the result being, amidst the mob activity still in full swing at the time, that the electoral count would be delayed indefinitely or Grassley would preside over it when it resumed if Pence had complied?

This leads to the erasure of Secret Service texts from January 5 and 6 in 2021. According to a July 15 article in The Washington Post:

A government watchdog accused the U.S. Secret Service of erasing texts from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, after his office requested them as part of an inquiry into the U.S. Capitol attack, according to a letter sent to lawmakers this week.

Joseph V. Cuffari, head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, wrote to the leaders of the House and Senate Homeland Security committees indicating that the text messages have vanished and that efforts to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, attack were being hindered….

Cuffari emphasized that the erasures came “after” the Office of Inspector General requested copies of the text messages for its own investigation

Maybe it is just as whacky as a Qanon conspiracy, but we hope the January 6 Committee is seeing if the dots connect.