Trump DOJ Seized Data from House Democrats in Leaks Probe

Katie Ramirez
June 12, 2021

The Times reported that as it hunted for the source of leaks about Trump associates and Russian Federation, the Justice Department had used grand jury subpoenas to compel Apple and one other service provider to hand over data tied to at least a dozen people associated with the House Intelligence Committee beginning in 2017 and 2018.

The records of aides and family members were also shared, including one who was a minor, according to the committee official.

The records of at least twelve people connected to the intelligence panel were eventually shared, including Chairman Adam Schiff, who was then the top Democrat on the committee. The subpoena included a gag order, which was renewed three times before it expired this year and Apple notified the customers in May. "This appalling politicization of the Department of Justice by Donald Trump and his sycophants must be investigated immediately by both the DOJ Inspector General and Congress".

Apple turned over only metadata and account information, not photos, emails or other content, according to one person familiar with the inquiry.

The revelation about the subpoenas marks the latest disclosure about the Trump administration's heavy-handed tactics toward leak investigations, after reports in recent weeks revealed how the Trump DOJ secretly obtained records from journalists.

"It looks like they were renewed a number of times and, thankfully, ... it looks like [the Biden administration] did not renew it", Swalwell told CNN during the same segment.

French President Emmanuel Macron slapped in the face
The incident was caught on camera as a bearded man wearing glasses and a face mask slapping the president hard on his left cheek. The man was swiftly swarmed by security. "We have no further comment to make at this stage", said an Elysée official on Tuesday.

The data was collected in 2018 as part of an aggressive leak investigation by the Trump DOJ. "This is a gross abuse of power and an assault on the separation of powers", Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and judiciary committee chairman Dick Durbin said in a joint statement Friday. "Apparently, they didn't find anything", Schiff said during a CNN interview on Friday. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement on Thursday that an investigation is warranted.

While the Justice Department routinely conducts investigations of leaked information, including classified intelligence, opening such an investigation into members of Congress is extraordinarily rare.

But the leak investigations were revived by attorney general Bill Barr a year later, the paper reported.

Prosecutors under Jeff Sessions, the first attorney general in Trump's Republican administration, were seeking to find the sources behind media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russian Federation, the Times said. 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".

Schiff told the Times he was told last month that the investigation into the House Intelligence Committee had been closed.

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