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World Nancy Pelosi Brands Trump DOJ Data Seizure 'Egregious Assault' on Democracy

16:46  11 june  2021
16:46  11 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) dubbed subpoenas issued by the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump targeting the data of Democratic lawmakers an "egregious assault" on U.S. democracy.

a man holding a phone: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looks at her phone as she returns to her office after meeting with the family of George Floyd at the U.S. Capitol on May 25, 2021. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi looks at her phone as she returns to her office after meeting with the family of George Floyd at the U.S. Capitol on May 25, 2021.

The New York Times and subsequently the Associated Press reported that under Trump the department had seized data from the Apple accounts of at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee. The two lawmakers were Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).

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Releasing a statement on Thursday night, Pelosi described these actions as "harrowing" and backed calls for an investigation into the matter.

She said transparency was "essential," as she also accused Trump of having weaponized law enforcement against his political opponents.

"Recently, it has become public that the Trump Administration sought account metadata of House Intelligence Committee Members and staff and their families," her statement read.

"The news about the politicization of the Trump Administration Justice Department is harrowing. These actions appear to be yet another egregious assault on our democracy waged by the former president.

"I support Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff's call for an investigation into this situation and other acts of the weaponization of law enforcement by the former president. Transparency is essential."

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The New York Times revealed on Thursday that Department of Justice officials subpoenaed Apple for the account data in late 2017 and early 2018.

Trump-era officials also reportedly sought the data from the accounts of the political aides and even family members, including one minor. The subpoenas were reportedly issued as part of a leak probe around Trump allies meeting with Russians.

The Department of Justice hit Apple with a gag order that restricted them from telling those who had been subpoenaed that they were under investigation, until the gag order ran out last month.

Rep. Schiff told MSNBC that the Attorney General Merrick Garland needed to "clean house" after the subpoena details were revealed.

Speaking to Rachel Maddow on Thursday night, the California Democrat said: "I think that the attorney general has an obligation to clean house, to essentially understand what the department was doing the last four years, make sure there's accountability for those that were engaged in political and partisan investigations within the department."

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He later called for a congressional probe into the subpoenas, but added that he would not be a part of any investigation due to his being the subject of at least one subpoena.

"But, I think other committees as part of their oversight responsibilities ought to ask the attorney general and others," he added.

Newsweek has contacted Speaker Pelosi's office, former President Trump's office and the Department of Justice for comment.

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The Trump administration forced Apple to turn over lawmakers’ data. Democrats are outraged. .
Some say it’s an attack on the separation of powers.The calls for oversight follow a New York Times report revealing that the DOJ made Apple turn over records from several people associated with the House Intelligence Committee — including Rep. Adam Schiff, Rep. Eric Swalwell, their staff and family, one of whom was a minor — in the midst of an investigation into people leaking classified information. While the seizure of this data happened back in 2017 and 2018, a DOJ gag order kept Apple from informing the representatives until just last month when they received an email notification from the company.

usr: 0
This is interesting!