‘CALL ME ASAP’: Emails Show Secret Service Response on January 6

Emails obtained via FOIA show other parts of the DHS watching TV and checking social media to get information like the rest of us.
House committee
Image: Tom Williams/Contributor

This week, the House January 6 committee is continuing its dramatic and much-publicized televised hearings. Coincidentally, the Department of Homeland Security recently released reports and emails that detail how sections of it, including the Secret Service, responded during the attempted coup in response to a set of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.


The documents show DHS mostly following the situation from afar—in some cases basing their assessments on media reports and television appearances—and how the Secret Service members who worked at the Capitol handled the situation. They provide additional primary source material for how events unfolded the day of the insurrection.

“CALL ME ASAP,” the subject line of one email sent by a Secret Service special agent from the Liaison Division on Capitol Hill reads. “Protesters have taken over Senate and House Chambers Shots fired in House Chamber—Officer-involved shooting is all that has been passed at this time.”

“Evacuation at Cannon Building!!!,” another January 6 email in the same thread reads.

In a separate thread, another Secret Service employee reports that someone is trying to schedule a meeting with their team. “I explained we were currently quite busy with today's developments,” the employee wrote.

“This is a massive challenge and your professionalism and execution have been instrumental in managing the issues. Thank you, stay safe, remain strong, and let us know how we can help you,” Jeremy Sheridon, assistant director at the Secret Service’s Office of Investigations, wrote in an email.

Other sections of DHS responded to each other in emails based on tweets, TV appearances, and media reports they saw.

“I just heard on TV that Speaker's Office and Mayor's office has asked for the National Guard to support Congressional security operations. DOD is apparently processing the request now according to media reports,” Jason Lamote, director of cyber, intelligence, operations at the DHS’ Office of Legislative Affairs wrote.

“DHS did not receive a request for augmentation or additional Law Enforcement support from any federal, state or local organizations prior to the incident at the Capitol today,” one email sent between DHS employees reads.

The documents, originally obtained by transparency organization, are heavily redacted; beneath those redactions, there may be evidence of how powerful government officials were doing something other than watching TV and doomscrolling like ordinary people, but who can say? They can be read in their entirety here, here, and here.

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