Politics Nancy Pelosi Brands Trump DOJ Data Seizure 'Egregious Assault' on Democracy
Justice surprises, dismays with Trump defense
The Department of Justice's (DOJ) defense of former President Trump against a defamation suit stemming from a rape allegation has surprised and dismayed critics who had spoken out against the previous administration's use of government lawyers to represent him.On Monday night, the Justice Department filed a brief with a federal appeals court backing the Trump administration's argument that the former president's comments about the writer E. Jean Carroll were made in the context of his official duties and thus he should be represented by government lawyers.
House Speaker(D-CA) dubbed subpoenas issued by the Justice Department under former President targeting the data of Democratic lawmakers an "egregious assault" on U.S. democracy.
The New York Times and subsequently the Associated Press reported that under Trump the department had seized data from theaccounts of at least two on the House Intelligence Committee. The two lawmakers were (D-CA) and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).
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Democrats believed they had won and everything would be fine. They weren't remotely ready for the counterattack Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and Joe Biden Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images
Releasing a statement on Thursday night, Pelosi described these actions as "harrowing" and backed.
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's call for an investigation into this situation and other acts of the weaponization of law enforcement by the former president. Transparency is essential."
Watchdog will investigate Trump DOJ leak subpoenas against Congress and reporters
The Department of Justice's top watchdog announced it is looking into recent revelations that the DOJ sought subpoenas against Democratic members of Congress and reporters as part of the investigation into alleged leaks of classified information to the media. © Provided by Washington Examiner The office for Michael Horowitz announced the new watchdog investigation on Friday.
The New York Times revealed on Thursday thatin 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 toldthat the Attorney General needed to "clean house" after the subpoena details were revealed.
Speaking toon 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."
Pelosi says Trump-era subpoenas go 'beyond Richard Nixon' as she vows to investigate
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday said reports that former President Donald Trump's Department of Justice subpoenaed Democratic lawmakers go "beyond" the actions taken by Richard Nixon. © Provided by Washington Examiner On Thursday, the New York Times reported that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions subpoenaed Apple in 2017 and 2018 for the data belonging to California Rep. Adam Schiff, then-ranking member of the committee, as well as panel staff and family members amid a hunt for the sources of leaks about Trump associates and their ties to Russia.
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.
Trump DOJ’s Secret Subpoenas and Data Seizures: What We Know .
The Trump Justice Department went to unprecedented lengths to hunt down leakers, seizing records from reporters, Democrats, and a White House counsel.Below is what we know about this still-unfolding scandal, the people and data targeted by the Justice Department’s secret subpoenas, and the potential consequences.