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DHS inspector general opens criminal probe into deleted Secret Service texts

(WASHINGTON) — The Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general has turned the inquiry into the Secret Service deleted text messages into a criminal investigation, three sources familiar with the situation confirmed to ABC News Thursday.

The inspector general sent a letter to the Secret Service Wednesday night telling the agency to halt any internal investigations until the criminal probe has been wrapped up.

The inspector general’s office did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for comment.

It is unclear whether this criminal investigation would result in a referral to the Justice department but the inspector general wants the Secret Service to halt its internal review.

“The Secret Service is in receipt of the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General’s letter,” a Secret Service spokesperson told ABC News in a statement. “We have informed the January 6th Select Committee of the Inspector General’s request and will conduct a thorough legal review to ensure we are fully cooperative with all oversight efforts and that they do not conflict with each other.”

The Secret Service has said it has been cooperating with a House Jan 6 committee subpoena and a National Archives and Records Administration inquiry, according to a source familiar with the situation.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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