Trump administration subpoenaed Apple for lawmakers' data

Adam Schiff DOJ must ‘clean house’ after Trump caught spying on Democrats

CNN reported Thursday that prosecutors in Trump's Justice Department, beginning in February 2018, subpoenaed Apple for data from the accounts of House Intelligence Committee Democrats, their staff and family members, including at least one minor, as part of a leak investigation, a committee official and a source familiar with the matter confirmed to CNN.

A House Intelligence Committee official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains politically sensitive, said Thursday night that Apple in May had notified at least 12 people connected to the panel of subpoenas for their data, and that one minor was among them.

Subpoenas for the communications metadata targeted congressman Adam Schiff of California, a Trump foe who was then the panel's top Democrat and now its chairman, the paper said.

The news comes on the heels of recent disclosures that the Justice Department sought the records of journalists at The Times, The Washington Post, and CNN in an attempt to identify their sources, a move that was widely panned by press freedom advocates, but that has been used in past administrations as well.

According to The New York Times, Apple provided metadata and "other account information", but did not give the DoJ photos, emails, or other content.

The reason: Trump wanted to figured out who was leaking classified information to reporters about the investigation into contacts between associates of Trump and Russian Federation, per the Washington Post.

The secret seizures were first reported by The New York Times. Still, he said, "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". Trump called the inquiries a "witch hunt" and regularly criticized Schiff and other Democrats on Twitter.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the revelation "harrowing" and also called for an investigation. "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".

"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 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.

While the Justice Department routinely conducts investigation into leaks, including of classified information, opening such an investigation into members of Congress is extraordinarily rare. But it also makes the Department of Justice just a fully owned subsidiary of the president's personal legal interests and political interests. After some of the information was declassified and made public during the later years of the Trump administration, there was concern among some of the prosecutors that even if they could bring a leak case, trying it would be hard and a conviction would be unlikely, one of the people said.

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