WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, on Wednesday introduced legislation to prevent the Secret Service from unilaterally withholding records from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Inspector General (IG).

The Secret Service Transparency and Accountability Act would amend the Inspector General Act of 1978 to clarify that the Privacy Act or Presidential Records Act cannot be used as a basis to deny records to the IG, to ensure that the decision to deny the IG access to records cannot be delegated to any Director or Agency head, and to increase transparency by requiring the IG to brief Congress on audits, inspections, evaluations, and settlement agreements.

“While I share the concerns of my colleagues about the actions of the current Inspector General, it is also clear the Secret Service tried to impede the Inspector General’s investigation into the events of January 6th by withholding records and ultimately erasing text messages. This legislation would prevent the Secret Service from undermining the work of the agency watchdog, and stop them from keeping the American people in the dark about things they deserve to know,” said Murphy.