Trump DOJ seized data from House Democrats in leaks probe
|CTVnews 10 Jun 2021 at 23:20|
Prosecutors from Trump s Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for the data, according to the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss the secret seizures. The revelations were first reported by The New York Times.
The records of at least twelve people connected to the intelligence panel were eventually seized, including Chairman Adam Schiff, who was then the top Democrat on the committee. California Rep. Eric Swalwell was the second member, according to spokeswoman Natalie Edelstein.
The records of aides and family members were also shared, including one who was a minor, according to the committee official. Apple informed the committee last month that their records had been shared, but did not give extensive detail. The committee is aware, though, that metadata from the accounts was turned over, the official said.
"The news about the politicization of the Trump Administration Justice Department is harrowing," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a statement. "These actions appear to be yet another egregious assault on our democracy waged by the former president."
Schiff, now the panel s chair, confirmed in a statement Thursday evening that the Justice Department had informed the committee in May that the investigation was closed. Still, he said, "I believe more answers are needed, which is why I believe the Inspector General should investigate this and other cases that suggest the weaponization of law enforcement by a corrupt president."
The Justice Department informed the intelligence panel in May that the matter had not transferred to any other entity or investigative body, the committee official said, and the department confirmed that again today.
The committee has continued to seek additional information, but the Justice Department has not been forthcoming in a timely manner, including on questions such as whether the investigation was properly predicated and whether it only targeted Democrats.
The news follows revelations that the Justice Department had secretly seized phone records belonging to reporters at The New York Times, The Washington Post and CNN as part of criminal leak investigations. Following an outcry from press freedom organizations, the Justice Department announced last week that it would cease the practice of going after journalists sourcing information.