The chairman of the Intelligence Committee of the United States House of Representatives, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA), speaks with members of the media outside a closed session before the Intelligence, Foreign Affairs and Oversight of the House of Representatives in the United States Capitol October 28, 2019 in Washington, DC. Also pictured (left to right) are Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).
Mark Wilson | fake images
House Intelligence Speaker Adam Schiff, D-California, is demanding answers from the Justice Department after a explosive report that the Trump administration had secretly subpoenaed Apple for its data.
Schiff, one of two House Democrats whose records were allegedly seized by the Trump Justice Department, asked the agency’s internal watchdog to investigate.
Former President Donald Trump “attempted to use the Department as a club against his political opponents and members of the media,” Schiff said in a statement shortly after the report was released Thursday night. “It is increasingly clear that these demands did not fall on deaf ears.”
The New York Times reported that Trump’s Justice Department in 2017 and early 2018 seized records of at least a dozen people linked to the House intelligence panel, including Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat. The agency also reportedly obtained data from the accounts of attendees and family members, one of whom was a child.
Justice Department prosecutors, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, were searching for the sources of damaging news reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia, according to the report.
While Trump’s prosecutors investigated the source of the leaks, they investigated the House Intelligence Committee, whose members have access to confidential documents.
The investigation did not link the House committee to the leaks, but Sessions’ replacement, Attorney General William Barr, kept the investigation on track, the Times reported.
United States President Donald Trump, left, speaks with United States Attorney General William Barr during the 38th annual National Peace Officers Memorial Day service at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, May 15, 2019.
Kevin Dietsch | Bloomberg | fake images
Apple remained silent on a gag order that expired this year, according to the newspaper.
The Times report came weeks after reports that the Trump administration had secretly obtained records of journalists in multiple media.
“The politicization of the Department and attacks on the rule of law are among the most dangerous attacks on our democracy carried out by the former president,” Schiff’s statement said.
“Although the Department informed us in May that this investigation is closed, I believe that more responses are needed, so I believe that the Inspector General should investigate this and other cases that suggest that a corrupt president has used the application of the law as a weapon. “.
Swalwell in a statement late Thursday said Apple had also told him last month that its records had been turned over to the Trump administration “as part of a politically motivated investigation into its perceived enemies.”
Swalwell said he backed Schiff’s call for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate.
“Like many of the world’s most despicable dictators, former President Trump displayed utter disdain for our democracy and the rule of law,” Swalwell’s statement said.
“This type of conduct is unacceptable, but unfortunately on the mark of a president who has repeatedly shown that he would set aside our Constitution for his own personal gain.”
In a statement, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, joined calls for a full investigation and said he plans to introduce legislation to increase transparency and reform “gag order abuse. “.
“The current Justice Department must act with much greater urgency both to reveal abuses and to ensure full accountability of those responsible,” Wyden said.