According to the NY Times, Justice Department prosecutors have taken Apple data on two Democratic lawmakers.
U.S. Justice Department prosecutors under former President Donald Trump have seized data from Apple on two Democratic House Intelligence Committee lawmakers, as well as those of its staff and members of the House Intelligence Committee. family, the New York Times reported Thursday.
The citation for communications metadata was aimed at California congressman Adam Schiff, a Trump enemy who was then the panel’s first Democrat and now its president, the newspaper said.
Record seizures occurred in 2017 and early 2018 when the department investigated leaks of classified information related to contacts between the Trump administration and the Russian government, according to the newspaper.
Trump has repeatedly asked the DOJ to go after its political enemies.
It is clear that their demands are not falling on deaf ears.
This baseless investigation, while now closed, is another example of Trump’s corrupt armament of justice.
And how much it has endangered our democracy.
– Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 11, 2021
Deputy Eric Swalwell told CNN Thursday that he was the committee’s second Democratic lawmaker who was targeted.
“I was notified … by Apple that they took my records. It’s wrong,” he said.
One of the targeted family members was a minor, the newspaper said.
According to the Times, prosecutors working under the current attorney general Jeff Sessions have made unusual efforts to find the source of the leaked classified information.
Justice Department officials targeted the electronic data not only at lawmakers, but at those of their staff and their families, perhaps aimed at a minor because investigators thought lawmakers were using the devices. their associates or children to hide contacts with journalists.
Like many of the world’s most despised dictators, former President Trump has expressed utter contempt for our democracy and the rule of law. My statement: pic.twitter.com/Pvvb1xYiLn
– Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) June 11, 2021
The Justice Department and Apple have not commented on the report.
In the end, none of the data or other evidence links lawmakers or the House Intelligence Committee to the leaks, the Times said.
But the leaked investigations were revived by Attorney General Bill Barr a year later, the newspaper reported.
The taking of such records has rarely been seen outside of corruption investigations.
“Law Enforcement Weapon”
Schiff, although he did not confirm that it was a purpose of the investigation, requested a probe from the Department of Justice’s inspector general into “this and other cases that suggest the armament of the law enforcement by a corrupt president ”.
Trump “has tried to use the Department as a cudgel against his political opponents and members of the media. It is becoming increasingly clear that those demands are not falling on deaf ears,” Schiff said in a statement.
Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat, also called for an investigation, calling the New York Times report “heartbreaking.”
“These actions appear to be another flagrant assault on our democracy brought about by the former president,” he said in a statement.
The justice department issued a scathing mandate to Apple that expired this year, meaning lawmakers didn’t know about the probes until the tech giant notified them last month, according to the newspaper.
Schiff, who led the Democratic prosecution team during Trump’s first Senate impeachment process in early 2020, has been widely insulted against the former president, calling him “dangerous”.
He he made the case in early 2020 for Trump to be fired from office for abuse of power and obstruction in Congress. Trump was later released. He was later charged by the House, and acquitted by the Senate, for his alleged role in inciting the riots that ravaged the U.S. capitol on January 6, 2021.