World Democrats Call for Barr, Sessions to Testify 'Under Oath' After Report Says Trump DOJ Seized Lawmakers' Data
DOJ seeks dismissal of case by ACLU, BLM against Trump, Barr for clearing Lafayette Park
Tuesday marks one year since the controversial clearing of Lafayette Square protesters before President Trump visited St. John’s Church, and Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers have requested a federal judge toss out cases against former President Trump, former Attorney General Bill Barr and other Trump-era officials for their actions that day. The D.C. branch of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Black Lives Matter and other civil liberties groups had accused Trump and Barr of involvement in the decision of police to use pepper spray, smoke balls and other aggressive measures to clear the Washington, D.C.
Democrats are demanding that former attorneys general Bill Barr andtestify under oath after it was reported that the Justice Department seized lawmakers' data during the Trump administration.
Senate Majority Leaderand Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durban released a statement Friday calling for Barr and Sessions to appear before the committee for questioning.
Over 12,000 Christians Want Trump 'Held Accountable' for Tear-Gassing BLM Protesters
Faithful America argues Trump "committed blasphemy" and propped up "state violence and white supremacy."Trump and Barr drew substantial backlash after largely peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square were tear-gassed on June 1, 2020, so Trump could walk from the White House, hold up a Bible and take a photo in front of the historic St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. The American Civil Liberties Union of D.C., Black Lives Matter and other civil liberties groups filed a lawsuit against Trump and Barr over the incident. The Justice Department has asked the judge to dismiss the case.
"The revelation that the Trump Justice Department secretly subpoenaed metadata of House Intelligence Committee Members and staff and their families, including a minor, is shocking," the statement read. "This is a gross abuse of power and an assault on the separation of powers."
Schumer and Durbin said if Sessions, Barr and other officials involved refuse to voluntarily appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee, they are "subject to subpoena and compelled to testify under oath."
They also called for multiple investigations by the Justice Department's inspector general and.
The demands come a day after The New York Times reported that federal prosecutors during former's presidency subpoenaed for data from the accounts of at least two on the House Intelligence Committee.
Jason Chaffetz: Justice Department losing trust of the American people. Here's why
Doing a little light reading of the quarterly report from the Justice Department Office of Inspector General (OIG) last week, I came across an interesting pattern: the DOJ may be the safest place in America to break the law. Because if you work there, your prosecution is most likely to be declined. One of the odd byproducts of being a former House Oversight Committee chairman is a strange fascination with the independent investigations of misconduct within the federal government. You can learn a lot about the stories our media is choosing not to tell from these routine reports.
Prosecutors were reportedly looking for the sources behind news stories about contacts between Russia and Trump associates.
The Times said inquiries began under Sessions, Trump's first attorney general, but hit a roadblock when data and other evidence found no ties between the committee and the media leaks. Barr, who replaced Sessions after he was forced out of the administration, later revived the investigations.
Overall, the records of at least a dozen people connected to the committee were seized in 2017 and 2018, according to the Times, including those of Democratic Representative.
Schiff, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, has also called for the Justice Department's internal watchdog to investigate the matter.
"Though we were informed by the Department in May that this investigation is closed, 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," Schiff said in a statement.
Merrick Garland's DOJ Wants to Substitute Itself for Donald Trump in Defamation Case
E. Jean Carroll wants to sue Trump for allegedly defaming her while he denied an allegation of sexual assault.The DOJ, which is currently led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, argued in a brief filed on Monday that the department should be allowed to act as defendant because Trump's comments were made while he was an employee of the federal government.
Representative Eric Swalwell said he was also notified that his data had been subpoenaed and supported Schiff's call for the inspector general to launch an investigation.
"Like many of the world's most despicable dictators, former President Trump showed an utter disdain for our democracy and the rule of law," Swalwell wrote in apost.
Newsweek reached out to the Justice Department for comment but didn't receive a response before publication.
Gregg Jarrett: Rep. Adam Schiff's fury and outrage over seized phone records is a perverse irony .
Rep. Adam Schiff threw an apoplectic fit the other day when he learned that what he did to others was done to him. There is some perverse irony in all of this. But, of course, Schiff neglected to mention his own hypocrisy. Schiff’s tantrum was triggered by the recent disclosure that the Trump Department of Justice obtained his phone records, along with another California Democrat, Eric Swalwell and several journalists.