Trump DOJ got Democrats’ records as they probed aides for leaking


Trump DOJ got phone records of Democratic lawmakers because they were targeting congressional aides suspected of leaking information to the press

  • The Trump DOJ  obtained data from Democratic lawmakers because they were in touch with aides suspected of leaking classified information to the press
  • The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Democratic lawmakers weren’t under investigation but their data got swept up in a leak probe 
  • The DOJ was looking into how reporters got information on the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and government surveillance of Carter Page 
  • As the government looked at House Intelligence Committee staff, aides’ contacts included Democratic Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell 
  • Democrats have been furious about the secret seizures, with Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the DOJ’s inspector general to probe what happened 
  • The Wall Street Journal also reported that an Intelligence Committee source said the DOJ has ignored repeated requests for more information 
  • Sources told The Journal that FBI agents closed the probe once an Intelligence Committee staffer, suspected of leaking, made a convincing denial last summer 

Former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice obtained communications data from Democratic lawmakers because they were in touch with aides suspected of leaking classified information to the press. 

The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that the Democratic lawmakers weren’t under investigation, but their data got swept up in a leak probe that involved how reporters got information on stories about the 2016 Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and the government surveilling Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page.  

As the government looked at House Intelligence Committee staff, aides’ contacts included then-ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff, and Rep. Eric Swalwell, another high profile Democrat.  

Former President Donald Trump's Department of Justice seized records from Democratic lawmakers because they had been in touch with House Intelligence Committee aides suspected of leaking classified information to the press, The Wall Street Journal reported

Former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice seized records from Democratic lawmakers because they had been in touch with House Intelligence Committee aides suspected of leaking classified information to the press, The Wall Street Journal reported 

House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff

Rep. Eric Swalwell

As the government looked at House Intelligence Committee staff, aides’ contacts included then-ranking member, Rep. Adam Schiff (left), and Rep. Eric Swalwell (right), another high profile Democrat

Apple was secretly subpoenaed for the data.  

Democrats were furious once the seizures were disclosed, with Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the DOJ’s inspector general to probe what happened. 

Schiff has called on Garland to investigate the Trump-era ‘gross abuses of the independence of the Justice Department.’ 

‘We don’t know how far they run,’ the California Democrat said Sunday. ‘And our new attorney general has to find out.’ 

The Wall Street Journal also reported that an Intelligence Committee source said the DOJ has ignored repeated requests for more information about the subpoena except to say the investigation has been closed. 

Sources told The Journal that FBI agents closed the probe once an Intelligence Committee staffer, suspected of being the leaker, made a convincing denial during an interview last summer.   

The DOJ also wouldn’t tell the Democrat-led committee if data from Republicans was also sought. 

‘We are deeply concerned this [subpoena] may have been the result of the former president’s urging and the destructive politicization of the department during the Trump administration,’ the Intelligence Committee official told the paper. 

Journalists’ records and White House counsel Don McGahn and his wife’s Apple data were also sought, also in connection to leak investigations.  

Top Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, have demanded that Attorneys General Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions – who have denied knowledge of the subpoenas – come testify, along with Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division John Demers, who’s leaving the DOJ at the end of the week. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pooh-poohed the idea in a Senate floor speech last week. 

‘Late last week the Democratic leader and the Democratic whip gave in to the urge to pick at the scab of politically motivated investigations that have become their party’s favorite weapon against the previous administration,’ McConnell said. 

McConnell called the DOJ’s IG ‘fully equipped.’ 

‘So I’m confident that the existing inquiry will uncover the truth,’ McConnell said. 

‘There’s no need for a partisan circus here in the Congress,’ the top Senate Republican added.    

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