Trump Administration Subpoenaed Apple for Data on Two House Intelligence Committee Democrats

Henrietta Strickland
June 11, 2021

He doesn't urge the Justice Department to investigate particular people.

Trump called the probes a "witch hunt", regularly criticised Schiff and other Democrats on Twitter and repeatedly dismissed as "fake news" leaks he found personally harmful to his agenda.

"There must be a full investigation of abuses under former Attorneys General Sessions and Barr, and anyone at DOJ who was complicit in these abuses of power can not be trusted to continue serving in government", the statement said.

The Department of Justice under former President Donald Trump was so concerned about the leaks of classified information that it took the extremely rare step of subpoenaing Apple for private personal data from the accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, aides, and family members, including a minor.

Another Democrat on the intelligence panel, Illinois Representative Mike Quigley, said he did not find it even "remotely surprising" that Trump went after committee members' records during the Russian Federation probe.

Apple turned over only metadata and account information, not photos, emails or other content, the Times said.

The records belonged to members of the committee, including Rep. Adam Schiff of California, as well as their staffers and families, including one minor, The Times reported. He now serves as chairman.

The records of at least a dozen people tied to the committee were seized in 2017 and early 2018, including those of Representative Adam Schiff, then the panel's top Democrat and now its chairman, the Times said.

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. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions began the inquiry, and it was revived under his successor, William Barr.

The department also successfully restricted Apple from making their records requests public, so the targeted lawmakers were unaware they were being examined until Apple informed them last month after the gag order expired.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump in 2019 for pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political opponents, dangling military aid to Ukraine and a White House visit in return.

The Justice Department declined comment. "The politicization of the department and the attacks on the rule of law are among the most risky assaults on our democracy carried out by the former president".

"I think that the most important thing or the biggest sort of - one of the more fundamental problems with the entire episode is that this is what Donald Trump wanted, and this is why legal experts and people on both sides of the aisle say that the president of the United States should not weigh in about criminal investigations, and he should not talk about using the Justice Department to target a rival because if the Justice Department does something, it is seen immediately through that lens".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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