Trump DOJ seized Apple data from Adam Schiff, other House Democrats
Jun 11 2021
Prosecutors from Trump's Justice Department subpoenaed Apple for the data, said a committee official and two other people with inside knowledge.
The panel 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 committee official said. "It is increasingly apparent that those demands did not fall on deaf ears", Schiff said in a statement Thursday. "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". "Though we were informed by the Department in May that this investigation is closed, 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".
Prosecutors in the US Justice Department under former president Donald Trump seized data from Apple from two Democratic lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as that of their staff and family members, The New York Timesreported Thursday. It did not name any other member of the House beside Schiff.
Apple notified some members of the committee last month that their information had been included, a committee official confirmed to NBC News.
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. Apple only passed along metadata and account information, the Times reports, and was put under a gag order, which expired this year.
Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi also called for an investigation, describing the New York Times report as "harrowing".
The records did not link the committee to the leaks.
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. "These actions appear to be yet another egregious assault on our democracy waged by the former president", she said. Dick Durbin of IL, the Judiciary Committee chairman, said in a statement Friday that Barr and Sessions "must testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee" and are subject to a subpoena if they refuse.
But the leak investigations were revived by attorney general Bill Barr a year later, the paper reported.
While the Justice Department routinely conducts investigation into leaks, including of classified information, opening such an investigation into members of Congress is extraordinarily rare.
Cuomo said, "This is exactly what people thought Trump would change, which is something like a deep state, where they're using an institution of government to investigate you in search of proof against you as opposed to proof driving an investigation". Why is it such a big deal? The records of at least 12 people were obtained in 2017 and 2018.
SCHIFF: Well, it's, you know, really norm within norm within norm being broken here.