Justice Dept. IG to Probe Data Seizure From House Dems

Justice Dept. IG to Probe Data Seizure From House Dems Justice Dept. IG to Probe Data Seizure From House Dems (Dreamstime)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 11 June 2021 02:28 PM

The Justice Department's inspector general has agreed to probe how the department handled a leak investigation during the Trump administration that included a subpoena for metadata of some lawmakers, staff, and family members, CNN is reporting.

The news network had reported that the action came after Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco had requested the investigation. CNN said the IG's office announced the probe on Friday.

The New York Times said that prosecutors in the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump seized data from Apple from two Democrat lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee,

Subpoenas for the communications metadata targeted Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., a Trump foe who was then the panel's top Democrat and now its chairman, the paper said, according to an AFP report.

The record seizures were made in 2017 and early 2018 when the department investigated leaks of classified material regarding contacts between the Trump administration and the Russian government, The Times reported.

And CNN noted Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., whose data was also reportedly seized, claimed Trump weaponized the Justice Department.

"This is about everyday Americans who don't want to see their government weaponize law enforcement against them because of their political beliefs," he said. He denied leaking any classified information involving investigations.

Meanwhile Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin, D-Ill., want former attorneys general Jeff Sessions and Bill Barr to testify on the issue.

"If they refuse, they are subject to being subpoenaed and compelled to testify under oath," the Democrats said in a statement, according to CNN.

"This issue should not be partisan; under the Constitution, Congress is a co-equal branch of government and must be protected from an overreaching executive, and we expect that our Republican colleagues will join us in getting to the bottom of this serious matter," Schumer and Durbin said.

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