Trump DOJ seized House Democrats' data from Apple

Source: The Hill | June 10, 2021 | Joseph Choi

Trump administration officials subpoenaed Apple for data on accounts belonging to at least two Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, congressional aides and their family members to find who was behind the leaks of classified information, The New York Times reported on Thursday

Committee officials and sources with knowledge of the inquiry told the Times that records belonging to at least a dozen people, including House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), were seized in 2017 and 2018. Data that belonged to family members, including at least one minor, was also seized.

One source told the Times that Apple turned over metadata and account information, but did not provide photos, emails or other content.

According to the Times, prosecutors under former Attorney General Jeff Sessions were looking to identify sources who were speaking to members of the media about contact between Trump associates and Russia.

The data seized in the investigations ultimately did not connect the Intelligence Committee to the information leaks; however, Sessions’s successor William Barr later revived the investigation, moving a trusted New Jersey prosecutor, Osmar Benvenuto, into the main branch of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to continue the investigation into Schiff and around half a dozen other people, according to the Times.

In a statement to the Times, Schiff said former President Trump had used the DOJ as a “cudgel against his political opponents and members of the media.”

“It is increasingly apparent that those demands did not fall on deaf ears,” Schiff said. “The politicization of the department and the attacks on the rule of law are among the most dangerous assaults on our democracy carried out by the former president.”

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