According to the NY Times, Justice Department prosecutors confiscated Apple data on two Democratic lawmakers.
U.S. Justice Department prosecutors, led by former President Donald Trump, confiscated data from Apple on two Democratic lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee, as well as its staff and family members, reported Thursday The New York Times.
Citations for communications metadata were directed at California Congressman Adam Schiff, an enemy of Trump who was then the group’s top Democrat and now its president, according to the newspaper.
Record seizures occurred in 2017 and early 2018, as 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 demanded that the DOJ pursue its political enemies.
It is clear that their demands did not fall on deaf ears.
This baseless investigation, though now closed, is one more example of Trump’s corrupt armaments justice.
And how much it endangered our democracy.
– Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) June 11, 2021
Congressman Eric Swalwell told CNN Thursday that he was the second Democratic lawmaker on the committee that was targeted.
“Apple notified me … that they confiscated my records. It’s bad, “he said.
One of the target family members was a minor, the newspaper reported.
According to the Times, prosecutors working under then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions made unusual efforts to find the source of the leaked classified information.
Justice Department officials pointed to the electronic data not only of lawmakers but also of their staff and families, possibly aimed at a minor because investigators thought lawmakers were using the devices of their associates or children to hide contacts with journalists.
Like many of the most despicable dictators in the world, former President Trump showed utter contempt for our democracy and the rule of law. My statement: pic.twitter.com/Pvvb1xYiLn
– Representative Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) June 11, 2021
The Justice Department and Apple have not yet commented on the report.
Ultimately, none of the data or any other evidence linked lawmakers or the House Intelligence Committee to the leaks, the Times said.
But Attorney General Bill Barr revived investigations into leaks a year later, according to the newspaper.
The confiscation of these records has rarely been seen outside of corruption investigations.
“Arms of law enforcement”
Schiff, while not confirming that it was a target of the investigation, called on the Justice Department inspector general to investigate “this and other cases that suggest the arming of law enforcement by a corrupt president.” .
Trump “tried to use the Department as a matrix against his political opponents and members of the media. It is becoming increasingly clear that these demands did not fall on deaf ears, “Schiff said in a statement.
Top Democrat Nancy Pelosi also called for an investigation, calling the New York Times report “distressing.”
“These actions appear to be another flagrant attack on our democracy by the former president,” he said in a statement.
The Justice Department placed a gag order on Apple that expired this year, meaning lawmakers were unaware of the investigations until the tech giant notified them last month, according to the newspaper.
Schiff, who led the Democratic prosecution team during the first Trump Senate impeachment trial in early 2020, has long clashed with the former president, calling him “dangerous.”
He he made the case in early 2020 for Trump to be removed from office for abuse of power and obstruction in Congress. Trump was later acquitted. He was later indicted by the House, and acquitted by the Senate, for his alleged role in inciting riots that stormed the U.S. chapter on January 6, 2021.