A sweeping government investigation uncovered that former President Donald Trump was spying on Democrats in congressional office, and strong-armed a phone company for journalists’ information.
Recently, the DOJ revealed that reporters, including Rep. Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Swalwell (D-CA) were targets of surveillance, as well as their staff and family members. The surveillance included a minor. The New York Times reported that the Trump administration used the Department of Justice to secretly subpoena and seize data on the two elected officials who are also on the House Intelligence Committee.
“The revelation that the Trump Justice Department secretly subpoenaed metadata of House Intelligence Committee Members and staff and their families, including a minor, is shocking,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-IL) in a statement following the expose. “This is a gross abuse of power and an assault on the separation of powers. 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.”
“We need a full accounting of the Trump DOJ’s abuse of power targeting Congress and the press. An IG investigation is just the start,” said Rep. Schiff, who is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Also, phone records of reporters at The Washington Post, New York Times and CNN were seized.
In the release of information regarding the secret seizure of information, under the order of then Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the DOJ confiscated phone records from Apple then placed a gag order on the company to prevent them telling the involved persons. As well, The Times reported that it was to see if the House Intelligence Committee members were tied to providing information to Russia. While Sessions’ investigation did not uncover anything, Attorney General Barr picked it up under his tenure.
“The full range of the misconduct must be examined, including Barr’s efforts to protect those who lied to cover up, and go after Trump’s enemies,” said Rep. Schiff.
Sen. Schumer and Sen. Durbin say that former Attorneys General Barr and Sessions and other officials who were involved in the surveillance must testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee under oath. If they refuse, they will be subject to being subpoenaed and compelled to testify under oath.
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